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[See p. 51. 




J. H. ROUND, M.A. 


" Anno incarnationis Dominicae millesimo centesinio qnadragesimo pfimo inex- 
tricabilem labyrinthum rerum et negotiorum quas acciderunt in Anglia aggredior 
evolvere. " — William of Malmesbiiry 



All y/o-ltts use rued 


''The reign of Stephen," in the words of our greatest 
living historian, "is one of the most important in our 
whole history, as exemplifying the working of causes and 
principles which had no other opportunity of exhibiting 
their real tendencies." To illustrate in detail the working 
of those principles to which the Bishop of Oxford thus 
refers, is the chief object I have set before myself in these 
pages. For this purpose I have chosen, to form the basis 
of my narrative, the career of Geoffrey de Mandeville, as 
the most perfect and typical presentment of the feudal 
and anarchic spirit that stamps the reign of Stephen. By 
fixing our glance upon one man, and by tracing his policy 
and its fruits, it is possible to gain a clearer perception of 
the true tendencies at work, and to obtain a firmer grasp 
of the essential principles involved. But, while availing- 
myself of Geoffrey's career to give unity to my theme, 
I have not scrupled to introduce, from all available sources, 
any materials bearing on the period known as the Anarchy, 
or illustrating the points raised by the charters with which 
I deal. 

The headings of my chapters express a fact upon which 
I cannot too strongly insist, namely, that the charters 
granted to Geoffrey are the very backbone of my work. 
By those charters it must stand or fall : for on their 

a 3 


relation and their evidence the whole narrative is built. 
If the evidence of these documents is accepted, and the 
relation I have assigned to them established, it will, I trust, 
encourage the study of charters and their evidence, " as 
enabling the student both to amplify and to check such 
scanty knowledge as we now possess of the times to which 
they relate."^ It will also result in the contribution of 
some new facts to English history, and break, as it were, 
by the wayside, a few stones towards the road on which 
future historians will travel. 

Among the subjects on which I shall endeavour to throw 
some fresh light are problems of constitutional and institu- 
tional interest, such as the title to the English Crown, 
the origin and character of earldoms (especially the earldom 
of Arundel), the development of the fiscal system, and the 
early administration of London. I would also invite 
attention to such points as the appeal of the Empress to 
Rome in 1136, her intended coronation at Westminster 
in 1141. the unknown Oxford intrigue of 1142, the new 
theory on Norman castles suggested by Geoffrey's charters, 
and the genealogical discoveries in the Appendix on Gervase 
de Cornhill. The prominent part that the Earl of 
Gloucester played in the events of which I write may 
justify the inclusion of an essay on the creation of his 
historic earldom, which has, in the main, already appeared 
in another quarter. 

In the words of Mr. Eyton, ''the dispersion of error is 
the first step in the discovery of truth." ^ Cordially adopt- 
ing this maxim, I have endeavoured throughout to correct 

* Preface to my Ancient Charters (Pipe-Roll Society). 
' Staffordshire Survey^ p. 277. 


errors and dispose of existing misconceptions. To **dare 
to be accurate " is, as Mr. Freeman so often reminds us, 
neither popular nor pleasant. It is easier to prophesy 
smooth things, and to accept without question the errors 
of others, in the spirit of mutual admiration. But I would 
repeat that *' boast as we may of the achievements of our 
new scientific school, we are still, as I have urged, behind 
the Germans, so far, at least, as accuracy is concerned." 
If my criticism be deemed harsh, I may plead with Newman 
that, in controversy, " I have ever felt from experience 
that no one would believe me to be in earnest if I spoke 
calmly." The public is slow to believe that writers who 
have gained its ear are themselves often in error and, by 
the weight of their authority, lead others astray. At the 
same time, I would earnestly insist that if, in the light of 
new evidence, I have found myself compelled to differ from 
the conclusions even of Dr. Stubbs, it in no way impeaches 
the accuracy of that unrivalled scholar, the profundity of 
whose learning and the soundness of whose judgment can 
only be appreciated by those who have followed him in 
the same field. 

The ill-health which has so long postponed the com- 
pletion and appearance of this work is responsible for 
some shortcomings of which no one is more conscious than 
myself. It has been necessary to correct the proof-sheets 
at a distance from works of reference, and indeed from 
England, while the length of time that has elapsed since 
the bulk of the work was composed is such that two or 
three new books bearing upon the same period have 
appeared in the mean while. Of these I would specially 
mention Mr. Howlett's contributions to the Kolls Series, 



and Miss Norgate's well-known England under the Angevin 
Kings. Mr. Hewlett's knowledge of the period, and 
especially of its MS. authorities, is of a quite exceptional 
character, while Miss Norgate's useful and painstaking 
work, which enjo^'s the advantage of a style that one 
cannot hope to rival, is a most welcome addition to our 
historical literature. To Dr. Stuhbs, also, w^e are indebted 
for a new edition of William of Malmesbury. As I had 
employed for that chronicler and for the Gcsta Stepliani 
the English Historical Society's editions, my references 
are made to them, except where they are specially assigned 
to those editions by Dr. Stubbs and Mr. Howlett which 
have since appeared. 

A few points of detail should, perhaps, be mentioned. 
The text of transcripts has been scrupulously preserved, 
even where it seemed corrupt ; and all my extensions as to 
"which any possible question could arise are enclosed in 
square brackets. The so-called ''new style" has been 
adhered to throughout : that is to say, the dates given are 
those of the true historical year, irrespective of the wholly 
artificial reckoning from March 25. The form ''fitz," 
denounced by purists, has been retained as a necessary 
convention, the admirable Calendar of Patent Rolls, now 
in course of publication, having demonstrated the impos- 
sibility of devising a satisfactory substitute. As to the 
spelling of Christian names, no attempt has been made to 
produce that pedantic uniformity which, in the twelfth 
century, was unknown. It is hoped that the index 
may be found serviceable and complete. The allusions 
to '*the lost volume of the Great Coucher" (of the duchy 
of Lancaster) are based on references to that compilation 


by seventeenth-century transcribers, which cannot be 
identified in the volumes now preserved. It is to be 
feared that the volume most in request among antiquaries 
may, in those days, have been " lent out " (cf. p. 183), 
with the usual result. I am anxious to call attention to 
its existence in the hope of its ultimate recovery. 

There remains the pleasant task of tendering my thanks 
to Mr. Hubert Hall, of H.M.'s Public Record Office, and 
Mr. F. Bickley, of the MS. Department, British Museum, 
for their invariable courtesy and assistance in the course 
of my researches. To Mr. Douglass Eound I am indebted 
for several useful suggestions, and for much valuable help 
in passing these pages through the press. 





The Accession of Stephen 1 

The First Charter of the King 37 

Triumph of the Empress 55 


The First Charter of the Empress 81 


The Lost Charter of the Queen 114 

The Rout of Winchester 123 


The Second Charter of the King 136 


The Second Charter of the Empress 163 


Fall and Death of Geoffrey . . . . 201 


The Earldom of Essex ... . . 227 




A. Stephen's Treaty with thh: Londoners 

B. The Appeal to Ro3ie in 1136 

C. The Easter Court of 1130 

D. The "Fiscal" Earls .... 

E. The Arrival of the Empress 

F. The Defection of Miles of Gloucester 

G. Charter of the Empress to Roger de Valoines 
H. The " Teutius Denarius " . 


J. The Great Seal of the Empress 

K. Gervase de Cornhill .... 

L. Charter of the Empress to William de Beauchamp 

M. The Earldom of Arundel .... 

X. Robert de Vere ..... 

O. " Tower " and " Castle " . 

P. The Early Administration of London 

Q. Osbertus Octodenarii .... 

R. The Forest of Essex ..... 

S. The Treaty of Alliance betaveen the Earls of 
AND Gloucester ..... 

T. " Affidatio in manu " .... 

U. The Families of Mandeyille and De Vere 

V. William of Arques ..... 

X. Roger " de Ramis "..... 

Y. The First and Second Visits of Henry II. to England 

Z. Bishop X'igel at Rome .... 

A A. •• Tenserie " ...... 

BB. The Empress's Charter to Geoffrey Ridel 







The Creation of the Earldom of Gloucester 






Before approaching that struggle between King Stephen 
and his rival, the Empress Maud, with which this work 
is mainly concerned, it is desirable to examine the peculiar 
conditions of Stephen's accession to the crown, deter- 
mining, as they did, his position as king, and supplying, 
we shall find, the master-key ta the anomalous character 
of his reign. 

The actual facts of the case are happily beyond 
question. From the moment of his uncle's death, as Dr. 
Stubbs truly observes, "the succession was treated as an 
open question."^ Stephen, quick to see his chance, made 
a bold stroke for the crown. The wind was in his favour, 
and, with a handful of comrades, he landed on the shores 
of Kent.^ His first reception was not encouraging : Dover 
refused him admission, and Canterbury closed her gates. ^ 
On this Dr. Stubbs thus comments : — 

" At Dover and at Canterbury he was received with sullen silence. 
The men of Kent had no love for^the stranger who came, as his pre- 
decessor Eustace had done, to trouble the land."^ 

* Early Plantagenets, p. 13 ; Const Hist (1874), i. 319. 

2 Gesta Stephani, p. 3. 

' " A Doureasibus repulsus, et a Cantuariuis exclusus " (Gervase, i. 
M). As illustrating the use of such adjectives for the garrison, rather than 
the townsfolk, compare Florence of Worcester's " Hrofenses Cantuarien- 
dbus . . . csedes inferunt" (ii. 23), where the " Hrofenses" are Odo's garrison. 
3o too " Bristoenses " in the Gesta (ed. Hewlett, pp. 38, 40, 41), though 
•endered by the editor "the people of Bristol," are clearly the troops of 
;he Earl of Gloucester. 
* Early Plantagenets, p. 14. Compare Const. Hist., i. 319 : " The men of 



But *' the men of Kent" were faithful to Stephen, 
when all others forsook him, and, remembering this, one 
would hardly expect to find in them his chief opponents. 
Nor, indeed, were they. Our great historian, when he 
wrote thus, must, I venture to think, have overlooked the 
passage in Ordericus (v. 110), from which we learn, inci- 
dentally, that Canterbury and Dover were among those 
fortresses which the Earl of Gloucester held by his father's 
gift.^ It is, therefore, not surprising that Stephen should 
have met with this reception at the hands of the lieu- 
tenants of his arch-rival. It might, indeed, be thought 
that the prescient king had of set purpose placed these 
keys of the road to London in the hands of one whom he 
could trust to uphold his cherished scheme.^ 

Stephen, undiscouraged by these incidents, pushed on 
rapidly to London. The news of his approach had gone 
before him, and the citizens flocked to meet him. By 
them, as is well known, he was promptly chosen to be king, 
on the plea that a king was needed to fill the vacant 
throne, and that the right to elect one was specially vested 
in themselves.^ The point, however, that I would here 

Kent, remembering the mischief that had constantly come to them from 
Boulogne, refused to receire him." Miss Xorgate adopts the same expla- 
nation (England under the Angevin Kings, i. 277). 

* There is a curious incidental allusion to the earl's Kentish possessions 
in William of Malmesbury, who states (p. 759) that he was allowed, while 
a prisoner at Eochester (October, 1141), to receive his rents from his Kentish 
tenants (" ab hominibus suis de Cantia"). Stephen, then, it would seem, did 
not forfeit them. 

2 In the rebellion of 1138 Walchelin Maminot, the earl's castellan, held 
Dover against Stephen, and was besieged by the Queen and by the men ot 
Boulogne. Curiously enough, Mr. Freeman made a similar slip, now cor- 
rected, to that here discussed, when he wrote that " whatever might be 
the feelings of the rest of the shire, the men of Dover had no mind to see 
Count Eustace again within their walls" (Norm. Conq., iv. 116), though they 
were, on the contrary, quite as anxious as the rest of the shire to do so. 

' " Id quoque sui esse juris, suique specialiter privilegii ut si rex ipsorum 
quoquo modo obiret, alius suo provisu in regno substituendus e vestigio suc- 
cederet" (Gesta, p. 3). This audacious claim of the citizens to such right 


insist on, for it seems to have been scarcely noticed, is 
that this election appears to have been essentially con- 
ditional, and to have been preceded by an agreement 
with the citizens.^ The bearing of this will be shown 

There is another noteworthy point which would seem 
to have escaped observation. It is distinctly implied by 
William of Malmesbury that the primate, seizing his 
opportunity, on Stephen's appearance in London, had 
extorted from him, as a preliminary to his recognition, 
as Maurice had done from Henry at his coronation, and 
as Henry of Winchester was, later, to do in the case of 
the Empress, an oath to restore the Church her *' liberty," 
a phrase of which the meaning is well known. Stephen, 
he adds, on reaching Winchester, was released from this 
oath by his brother, who himself '* went bail " (made 
himself responsible) for Stephen's satisfactory behaviour 
to the Church.^ It is, surely, to this incident that Henry 
so pointedly alludes in his speech at the election of the 
Empress.^ It can only, I think, be explained on the 

as vested in themselves is much stronger than Mr. Freeman's paraphrase 
when he speaks of " the citizens of London and V^inchester [why Win- 
chester ?], who freely exercised their ancient right of sharing in the election 
of the king who should reign over them " (Norm. Conq., v. 251 ; cf. p. 856). 

* "Firmata prius utrimque pactione, peractoque, ut vulgus asserebat, 
mutuo juramento, ut eum cives quoad viveret opibus sustentarent, viribus 
tutarentur ; ipse autem, ad regnum pacificandum, ad omnium eorundem suflfra- 
gium, toto sese conatu accingeret " (Gesta^ p. 4). See Appendix A. 

* " Spe scilicet captus amplissima quod Stephanus avi sui Willelmi in 
regni moderamine mores servaret, precipueque in ecclesiastici vigoris 
disciplina. Quapropter districto sacramento quod a Stephano "Willelmus 
Cantuarensis archiepiscopus exegit de liber tate reddenda ecclesise et conser- 
vanda, episcopus Wintoniensis se mediatorem et vadem apposuit. Cujus 
sacramenti tenorem, postea scripto inditum, loco suo non prsetermittam " 
(p. 704). See Addenda. 

^ "Enimvero, quamvis ego vadem me apposuerim inter eum et Deum 
quod sanctam ecclesiam honoraret et exaltaret, et bonas leges manuteneret, 
malas vero abrogaret ; piget meminisse, pudet narrare, qualem se in regno 
exhibuerit," etc. (ibid., p. 746). 


hypothesis that Stephen chafed beneath the oath he had 
taken, and begged his brother to set him free. If so, the 
attempt was vain, for he had, we shall find, to bind him- 
self anew on the occasion of his Oxford charter.^ 

At Winchester the citizens, headed by their bishop, 
came forth from the city to greet him, but this reception 
must not be confused (as it is by Mr. Freeman) with his 
election by the citizens of London.^ His brother, needless 
to say, met him with an eager welcome, and the main 
object of his visit was attained when William de Pont de 
I'Arche, who had shrunk, till his arrival, from embracing 
his cause, now, in concert with the head of the adminis- 
tration, Eoger, Bishop of Salisbury, placed at his disposal 
the royal castle, with the treasury and all that it con- 

Thus strengthened, he returned to London for corona- 
tion at the hands of the primate. Dr. Stubbs observes 
that '* he returned to London for formal election and 
coronation."* His authority for that statement is Gervase 
(i. 94), who certainly asserts it distinctly.^ But it will 
be found that he, who was not a contemporary, is the 
only authority for this second election, and, moreover, 
that he ignores the first, as well as the visit to Winchester, 
thus mixing up the two episodes, between which that visit 
intervened. Of course this opens the wider question as to 

* The phrase " districto sacramento " is very diflScult to construe. I 
have here taken it to imply a release of Stephen from his oath, but the 
meaning of the passage, which is obscure as it stands, may be merely that 
Henry became surety for Stephen's performance of the oath as in an agree- 
ment or treaty between two contracting parties (vide infra passim). 

* Ante^ p. 3. 

' Gesta, 5, 6 ; Will. Malms., 703. Note that William Eufus, Henry I., and 
Stephen all of them visited and secured Winchester even before their 

* Const Hist, i. 319. 

* " A cunctis fere in regem elcctus est, et sic a Wiilelmo Cantuarensi 
archiepiscopo coronatus." 


whether the actual election, in such cases, took place at 
the coronation itself or on a previous occasion. This 
may, perhaps, be a matter of opinion ; but in the preceding 
instance, that of Henry I., the election was admittedly 
that which took place at Winchester, and was previous to 
and unconnected with the actual coronation itself.-^ From 
this point of view, the presentation of the king to the 
people at his coronation would assume the aspect of a 
ratification of the election previously conducted. The 
point is here chiefly of importance as affecting the validity 
of Stephen's election. If his only election was that which 
the citizens of London conducted, it was, to say the least, 
''informally transacted."^ Nor was the attendance of 
magnates at the ceremony such as to improve its character. 
It was, as Dr. Stubbs truly says, *' but a poor substitute 
for the great councils which had attended the summons of 
William and Henry." ^ The chroniclers are here unsatis- 
factory. Henry of Huntingdon is rhetorical and vague; 
John of Hexham leaves us little wiser ; * the Continuator of 
Florence indeed states that Stephen, when crowned, kept 
his Christmas court *' cum totius Angliae primoribus " 
(p. 95), but even the author of the Gesta implies that the 
primate's scruples were largely due to the paucity of 
magnates present.^ William of Malmesbury alone is 
precise,^ possibly because an adversary of Stephen could 

* " The form of election was hastily gone through by the barons on the 
spot" {Con^t. Hist, i. 303). 

' Select Charters, p. 108. ' Early Plantagenets, p. 14. 

* " Consentientibus in ejus promotionem Willelmo Cantuarensi archie- 
piscopo et clericorum et laicorum universitate " (Sym. Dun., ii, 286, 287). 

* " Sic profecto, sic congruit, ut ad eum in regno confirmandum omnes 
pariter convolent, parique consensu quid statuendum, quidve respuendum 
sit, ab omnibus provideatur " (pp. 6, 7). Eventually he represents the 
primate as acting " Cum episcopis frequentique, qui intererat, clericatu " (p. 8). 

* " Tribus episcopis prsBsentibus, archiepiscopo, Wintoniensi, Salesbiriensi , 
nullis abbatibus, paucissimis optimatibus " (p. 704y See Addenda. 


alone afford to be so, and his testimony, we shall find, is 
singularly confirmed by independent charter evidence (p. 11). 

It was at this stage that an attempt was made to dispel 
the scruples caused by Stephen's breach of his oath to the 
late king. The hint, in the Gesta^ that Henry, on his 
deathbed, had repented of his act in extorting that oath,^ 
is amplified by Gervase into a story that he had released 
his barons from its bond,^ while Ealph ** de Diceto " repre- 
sents the assertion as nothing less than that the late king 
had actually disinherited the Empress, and made Stephen 
his heir in her stead. ^ It should be noticed that these last 
two writers, in their statement that this story was proved 
by Hugh Bigod on oath, are confirmed by the independent 
evidence of the Historia Pontijicalis} 

The importance of securing, as quickly as possible, 
the performance of the ceremony of coronation is well 
brought out by the author of the Gesta in the arguments 
of Stephen's friends when combating the primate's 
scruples. They urged that it would ipso facto put an end 
to all question as to the validity of his election.^ The 
advantage, in short, of ''snatching" a coronation was 
that, in the language of modern diplomacy, of securing a 
fait accompli. Election was a matter of opinion ; coro- 
nation a matter of fact. Or, to employ another expres- 

* "Supremo eum agitante mortis articulo, oum et plurimi astarent et 
veram suorum erratuum confessionem audirent, de jurejurando violenter 
baronibus suis injuucto apertissime paenituit." 

* "Quidam ex potentissimis Anglise, jurans et dicens se praesentem 
aflPaisse ubi rex Henricus idem juramentum in bona fide sponte relaxasset." 

' "Hugo Bigod senescallus regis coram archiepiscopo Cantuariae Sacra- 
mento probavit quod, dum Eex Henricus ageret in extremis, ortis quibus 
iniiiiicitiis inter ipsum et iraperatricem, ipsam exhseredavit, et Stephanum 
Boloniae comitem bseredem instituit." 

* " Et base juramento comitis {sic) Hugonis et duorum militum probata 
esse dicebant in facie ecclesie Anglicane" (ed. Pertz, p. 543). 

* " Cum regis {sic) fautores obnixe persuaderent quatinus eum ad 
regnandum inungeret, quodque imperfectum videbatur, administrationis 
suae officio suppleret " (p 6). 


sion, it was the ^' outward and visible sign " that a king 
had begun his reign. Its important bearing is well seen 
in the case of the Conqueror himself. Dr. Stubbs observes, 
with his usual judgment, that '' the ceremony was under- 
stood as bestowing the divine ratification on the election 
that had preceded it." ^ Now, the fact that the performance 
of this essential ceremony was, of course, wholly in the 
hands of the Church, in whose power, therefore, it always 
was to perform or to withhold it at its pleasure, appears 
to me to have naturally led to the growing assumption 
that we now meet with, the claim, based on a confusion 
of the ceremony with the actual election itself, that it 
was for the Church to elect the king. This claim, which 
in the case of Stephen (1136) seems to have been only 
inchoate,^ appears at the time of his capture (1141) in a 
fully developed form,^ the circumstances of the time 
having enabled the Church to increase its power in the 
State with perhaps unexampled rapidity. 

May it not have been this development, together with 
his own experience, that led Stephen to press for the 
coronation of his son Eustace in his lifetime (1152) ? In 
this attempted innovation he was, indeed, defeated by the 
Church, but the lesson was not lost. Henry I,, unlike his 
contemporaries, had never taken this precaution, and 
Henry II., warned by his example, succeeded in obtaining 
the coronation of his heir (1170) in the teeth of Becket's 
endeavours to forbid the act, and so to uphold the veto of 
the Church. 

Prevailed upon, at length, to perform the ceremony, 
the primate seized the opportunity of extorting from the 

> Cm^t. Eist, i. 146. ^ gee his Oxford Charter. 

' See the legate's speech at Winchester: "Ventilata est hesterno die 
causa secreto coram majori parte cleri Anglise, ad cujus jus potissimum spectat 
prindpem eligere, simulque or dinar e" (Will. Malms., p. 746). 


eager king (besides a charter of liberties) a renewal of his 
former oath to protect the rights of the Church. The oath 
which Henry had sworn at his coronation, and which 
Maud had to swear at her election, Stephen had to swear, 
it seems, at both, though not till the Oxford charter was 
it committed, in his case, to writing.^ 

We now approach an episode unknown to all our 

The EmjDress, on her side, had not been idle ; she had 
despatched an envoy to the papal court, in the person of 
the Bishop of Angers, to appeal her rival of (1) defrauding 
her of her right, and (2) breach of his solemn oath. Had 
this been known to Mr. Freeman, he would, it is safe 
to assert, have been fascinated by the really singular 
coincidence between the circumstances of 1136 and of 
1066. In each case, of the rivals for the throne, the one 
based his pretensions on (1) kinship, fortified by (2) an 
oath to secure his succession, which had been taken by 
his opponent himself ; while the other rested his claims on 
election duly followed by coronation. In each case the 
election was fairly open to question ; in Harold's, because 
{■pace Mr. Freeman) he was not a legitimate candidate ; in 
Stephen's, because, though a qualified candidate, his 
election had been most informal. In each ease the ousted 
claimant appealed to the papal court, and, in each case, 
on the same grounds, viz. (1) the kinship, (2) the broken 
oath. In each case the successful party was opposed by a 
particular cardinal, a fact which we learn, in each case, 
from later and incidental mention. And in each case that 

* Henry had STvorn " in ipso suae consecrationis die " (Eadmer), Stephen 
" in ipsa consecrationis tuae die " (Innocent's letter). Henry of Huntingdon 
refers to the " pacta " which Stephen " Deo et populo et sanctae ecclesiae 
concesserat in die coronationis suae." William of Malmesbury speaks of the 
oath as " postea \i.e. at Oxford] scripto inditum." See Addenda. 

2 See Appendix B : " The Appeal to Eome in 1136." 


cardinal became, afterwards, pope. But here the parallel 
ends. Stephen accepted, where Harold had (so far as we 
know) rejected, the jurisdiction of the Court of Rome. 
We may assign this difference to the closer connection 
between Rome and England in Stephen's day, or we may 
see in it proof that Stephen was the more politic of the 
two. For his action was justified by its success. There 
has been, on this point, no small misconception. Harold 
has been praised for possessing, and Stephen blamed for 
lacking, a sense of his kingly dignity. But l<je,s%o fidei was 
essentially a matter for courts Christian, and thus for the 
highest of them all, at Rome. Again, inheritance, so far 
as inheritance affected the question, was brought in many 
ways within the purview of the courts Christian, as, for 
instance, in the case of the alleged illegitimacy of Maud. 
Moreover, in 1136, the pope, though circumstances played 
into his hands, advanced no such pretension as his suc- 
cessor in the days of John. His attitude was not that of 
an overlord to a dependent fief: he made no claim to 
dispose of the realm of England. Sitting as judge in a 
spiritual court, he listened to the charges brought by 
Maud against Stephen in his personal capacity, and, with- 
out formally acquitting him, declined to pronounce him 

Though the king was pleased to describe the papal 
letter which followed as a "confirmation" of his right to 
the throne, it was, strictly, nothing of the kind. It was 
simply, in the language of modern diplomacy, his " recogni- 
tion " by the pope as king. If Ferdinand, elected Prince 
of Bulgaria, were to be recognized as such by a foreign 
power, that action would neither alter his status relatively 
to any other power, nor would it imply the least claim to 
dispose of the Bulgarian crown. Or, again, to take a 
mediaeval illustration, the recognition as pope by an 


English king of one of two rival claimants for the papacy 
would neither affect any other king, nor constitute a claim 
to dispose of the papal tiara. Stephen, however, was 
naturally eager to make the most of the papal action, 
especially when he found in his oath to the Empress the 
most formidable obstacle to his acceptance. The sanction 
of the Church would silence the rejDroach that he was 
occupying the throne as a perjured man. Hence the 
clause in his Oxford charter. To the advantage which 
this letter gave him Stephen shrewdly clung, and when 
Geoffrey summoned him, in later years, '^ to an investigation 
of his claims before the papal court," he promptly retorted 
that Eome had already heard the case.^ He turned, in 
fact, the tables on his appellant by calling on Geoffrey to 
justify his occupation of the Duchy and of the Western 
counties in the teeth of the papal confirmation of his 
own right to the throne. 

We now pass from Westminster to Reading, whither, 
after Christmas, Stephen proceeded, to attend his uncle's 
funeral.^ The corpse, says the Continuator, was attended 
*'non modica stipatus nobilium caterva." The meeting 
of Stephen with these nobles is an episode of consider- 
able importance. '^ It is probable," says Dr. Stubbs, 
*' that it furnished an opportunity of obtaining some vague 
promises from Stephen."^ But the learned writer here 
alludes to the subsequent promises at Oxford. What I 
am concerned with is the meeting at Reading. I proceed, 
therefore, to quote in extenso a charter which must have 
passed on this occasion, and which, this being so, is of 
great value and interest.* 

* See Appendix B. 

2 Een. Hunt, 258 ; Ck)nt. Flor. Wig., 95 ; WUl. Malms., 705. 
» Const. Hist., i. 321. 

* Lansdowne MS. 229, fol. 109, and Lansdowne MS. 259, fol. 66, both 
being excerpts from the lost volume of the Great Coucher of the Duchy. 


Carta Stephani regis Anglise facta Miloni Gloec' de bonore 
Gloecestr' et Brekon'. 

S. rex Angl. Archiepis Epis Abbatibus. Com. Baron, 
vie. praepositis, Ministris et omnibus fidelibus suis Francis 
et Anglicis totius Angliae et Walliae Sat. sciatis me red- 
didisse et concessisse Miloni Gloecestriae et baeredibus suis 
post eum in feod et baereditate totum bonorem suum de 
Gloec', et de Brecbenion, et omnes terras suas et tenaturas 
suas in vicecomitatibus et aliis rebus, sicut eas tenuit die 
qua rex Henricus fuit viuus et mortuus. Quare volo et 
praecipio quod bene et bonorifice et libere teneat in bosco 
et piano et pratis et pasturis et aquis et mariscis, in 
molendinis et piscariis, cum Tbol et Tbeam et infangene- 
tbeof, et cum omnibus aliis libertatibus et consuetudinibus 
quibus unqu melius et liberius tenuit tempore regis Henrici. 
Et sciatis qm ego ut dns et Eex, convencionavi ei sicut 
Baroni et Justiciario meo quod eum in placitum non 
ponero quamdiu vixero de aliqua tenatura ^ tenuisset die 
qua Eex Henricus fuit vivus et mortuus, neq' baeredem 
suum. T. Arcb. Cantuar. et Epo Winton. et Ep5 Sar'. et 
H. Big et Kob filio Eicardi et Ing de Sai. et W. de Pon^ et 
P. filio Jofe. Apud Eading. 

Sub magno sigillo suo. 

Tbe reflections suggested by tbis cbarter are many and 
most instructive. Firstly, we bave bere tbe most empbatic 
corroboration of tbe evidence of William of Malmesbury. 
Tbe four first witnesses comprise tbe tbree bisbops wbo, 
according to bim, conducted Stepben's coronation, togetber 
witb tbe notorious Hugb Bigod, to wbose timely assurance 
tbat coronation was so largely due. Tbe four otbers are 
Eobert fitz Eicbard, wbom we sball find present at tbe 
Easter court, attesting a cbarter as a royal cbamberlain ; 


Enguerrand de Sai, the lord of Clun, who had probably 
come with Payne fitz John ; William de Pont de I'Arche, 
whom we met at Winchester ; and Payne fitz John. The 
impression conveyed by this charter is certainly that 
Stephen had as yet been joined by few of the magnates, 
and had still to be content with the handful by whom his 
coronation had been attended. 

An important addition is, however, represented by the 
grantee, Miles of Gloucester, and the witness Payne fitz 
John. The former was a man of great power, both of 
himself and from his connection with the Earl of Gloucester, 
in the west of England and in Wales. The latter is repre- 
sented by the author of the Gesta as acting with him at this 
juncture.^ It should, however, be noted, as important in 
its bearing on the chronology of this able writer, that 
he places the adhesion of these two barons (p. 15) con- 
siderably after that of the Earl of Gloucester (p. 8), whereas 
the case was precisely the contrary, the earl not submitting 
to Stephen till some time later on. Both these magnates 
appear in attendance at Stephen's Easter court {vide infra), 
and again as witnesses to his Oxford charter. The part, 
however, in the coming struggle which Miles of Gloucester 
was destined to play, was such that it is most important 
to learn the circumstances and the date of his adhesion 
to the king. His companion, Payne fitz John, was slain, 
fighting the Welsh, in the spring of the following year.^ 

* Speaking of the late king's trusted friends, who hung back from coming 
to court, he writes : " Illi autem, intenta sibi a rege comminatione, cum 
salvo eundi et redeundi conductu curiam petiere ; omnibusque ad votum 
impetratis, peracto cum jurejurando liberali hominio, illius sese servitio ex 
toto manciparunt. Afifuit inter reliquos Paganus filius Johannis, sed et Milo, 
de quo superius fecimus mentionem, ille Herefordensis et Salopesbiriae, iste 
Glocestrensis provincise dominatum gerens : qui in tempore regis Henrici 
potentisB suae culmen extenderant ut a Sabrina flumine usque ad mare per 
omnes fines Anglise et "Waloniae omnes placitis involverent, angariis onera- 
rent" (pp. 15, 16). 

' Cont. Flor. Wig. 


"" It is a singular fact that, in addition to the charter I 
have here given, another charter was granted to Miles 
of Gloucester by the king, which, being similarly tested at 
Reading, probably passed on this occasion. The subject 
of the grant is the same, but the terms are more precise, 
the constableship of Gloucester Castle, with the hereditary 
estates of his house, being specially mentioned.^ Though 
both these charters were entered in the Great Coucher (in 
the volume now missing), the latter alone is referred to by 
Dugdale, from whose transcript it has been printed by 
Madox.^ Though the names of the witnesses are there 
omitted, those of the six leading witnesses are supplied 
by an abstract which is elsewhere found. Three of 
these are among those who attest the other charter — 
Robert fitz Richard, Hugh Bigod, and Enguerrand de 
Sai ; but the other three names are new, being Robert de 
Ferrers, afterwards Earl of Derby, Baldwin de Clare, the 
spokesman of Stephen's host at Lincoln (see p. 148), and 
(Walter) fitz Richard, who afterwards appears in attend- 
ance at the Easter court. ^ These three barons should 

^ " S. rex AnglisB Archiepis etc. Sciatis me reddidisse et concessisse Miloni 
Gloec et heredibus suis post eum in feodo et hereditate totum honorem patria 
sui et custodiam turris et castelli Gloecestrie ad tenendum tali forma {^ic) 
qualem reddebat tempore regis Henrici sicut patrimonium suum. Et totum 
honorem suum de Brecbenion et omnia Ministeria sua et terras suas quas 
tenuit tempore regis Henrici sicut eas melius et honorificentius tenuit die 
qua rex Henricus fuit vivus et mortuus, et ego ei in convencionem habeo 
sicut Rex et dominus Baroni meo. Quare precipio quod bene et in honore 
et in pace et libere teneat cum omnibus libertatibus suis. Testes, W. filius 
Ricardi, Robertus de Ferrariis, Robertus filius Ricardi, Hugo Bigot, Ingel- 
ramus de Sai, Balduinus filius Gisleberti. Apud Radinges " (Lansdowne 
MS. 229, fols. 123, 124. 

* History of the Exchequer, p. 135. 

' I am inclined to believe that in Robert fitz Richard we liave that Robert 
fitz Richard (de Clare) who died in 1137 (Robert de Torigny), being then 
described as paternal uncle to Richard fitz Gilbert (de Clare), usually but 
erroneously described as first Earl of Hertford. If so, he was also uncle to 
Baldwin (fitz Gilbert) de Clare of this charter, and brother to W(alter) fitz 
Richard (de Clare), another witness. We shall come across another of Stephen's 


therefore be added to the list of those who were at Eeading 
with the king.^ 

Possibly, however, the most instructive feature to be 
found in each charter is the striking illustration it affords 
of the method by which Stephen procured the adhesion 
of the turbulent and ambitious magnates. It is not so 
much a grant from a king to a subject as a convencio between 
equal powers. But especially would I invite attention to 
the words *' ut dominus et Eex." ^ I see in them at once the 
symbol and the outcome of " the Norman idea of royalty." 
In his learned and masterly analysis of this subject, a 
passage which cannot be too closely studied. Dr. Stubbs 
shows us, with felicitous clearness, the twin factors of 
Norman kinghood, its royal and its feudal aspects.^ Surely 
in the expression ''dominus et Eex" {alias '* Eex et 
dominus") we have in actual words the exponent of this 
double character.^ And, more than this, we have here 
the needful and striking parallel which will illustrate and 
illumine the action of the Empress, so strangely overlooked 
or misunderstood, when she ordered herself, at Winchester, 
to be proclaimed ''Domina et Eegina." 

charters to which the house of Clare contributes several witnesses. There is 
evidence to suggest that Robert fitz Richard (de Clare) was lord, in some 
way, of MaldoQ in Essex, and was succeeded there by (his nephew) Walter 
fitz Gilbert (de Clare), who went on crusade (probably in 1147). 

* There is preserved among the royal charters belonging to the Duchy of 
Lancaster, the fragment of one grant of which the contents correspond exactly, 
it would seem, with those of the above charter, though the witnesses' names 
are different. This raises a problem which cannot at present be solved. 

2 In the fellow-charter the phrase runs : " sicut Kex et dominus Baronl 

3 " The Norman idea of royalty was very comprehensive ; it practically 
combined all the powers of the national sovereignty, as they had been exercised 
by Edgar and Canute, with those of the feudal theory of monarchy, which was 
exemplified at the time in France and the Empire. . . . The king is accordingly 
both the chosen head of the nation and the lord paramount of the whole of 
the land" (^Const. Hist, i. 338). 

* Compare the words of address in several of the Cartas Baronum (1166): 
'* servitium ut domino ; " " vobis sicut domino meu ; " " sicut domino caris- 
simo ; " " ut domino suo ligio." 


Henry of Huntingdon asserts distinctly that from 
Reading Stephen passed to Oxford, and that he there 
renewed the pledges he had made on his coronation-day.^ 
That, on leaving Reading, he moved to Oxford, though the 
fact is mentioned by no other chronicler, would seem to be 
placed beyond question by Henry's repeated assertion.^ 
But the difficulty is that Henry specifies what these pledges 
were, and that the version he gives cannot be reconciled 
either with the king's '' coronation charter " or with what is 
known as his ^* second charter," granted at Oxford later in 
the year. Dr. Stubbs, with the caution of a true scholar, 
though he thinks it *' probable," in his great work, that 
Stephen, upon this occasion, made " some vague promises," 
yet adds, of those recorded by Henry — 

" Whether these promises were embodied in a charter is uncertain : 
if they were, the charter is lost ; it is, however, more probable that the 
story is a popular version of the document which was actually issued 
by the king, at Oxford, later in the year 1136." ^ 

In his later work he seems inclined to place more 
credence in Henry's story. 

" After the funeral, at Oxford or somewhere in the neighbourhood, 
he arranged terms with them ; terms by which he endeavoured, 
amplifying the words of his charter, to catch the good will of each 
class of his subjects. . . . The promises were, perhaps, not insincere at 
the time ; anyhow, they had the desired effect, and united the nation 
for the moment." * 

It will be seen that the point is a most perplexing one, 
and can scarcely at present be settled with certainty. But 
there is one point beyond dispute, namely, that the so- 
called "second charter" was issued later in the year, 

^ *' Inde perrexit rex Stephanus apud Oxeneford ubi recordatus et con- 
firmavit pacta quss Deo et populo et sanctae ecclesise concesserat in die 
coronationis susb " (p. 258). 

"^ " Cum venisset in fine Natalis ad Oxenefordiam " (^ibid.). 

» Const. Hist, i. 321. 

* Early Flantagenete, pp. 15, 16. 


after the king's return from the north. Mr. Freeman, 
therefore, has not merely failed to grasp the question at 
issue, but has also strangely contradicted himself when he 
confidently assigns this ''second charter" to the king's 
first visit to Oxford, and refers us, in doing so, to another 
page, in which it is as unhesitatingly assigned to his other 
and later visit after his return from the north. ^ If I call 
attention to this error, it is because I venture to think 
it one to which this writer is too often liable, and 
against which, therefore, his readers should be placed 
upon their guard.^ 

It was at Oxford, in January,* that Stephen heard of 
David's advance into England. With creditable rapidity 
he assembled an army and hastened to the north to meet 
him. He encountered him at Durham on the 5th of 
February (the day after Ash Wednesday), and effected a 
peaceable agreement. He then retraced his steps, after a 
stay of about a fortnight,* and returned to keep his Easter 
(March 22) at Westminster. I wish to invite special 
attention to this Easter court, because it was in many 
ways of great importance, although historians have almost 
ignored its existence. Combining the evidence of charters 
with that which the chroniclers afford, we can learn not a 
little about it, and see how notable an event it must have 
seemed at the time it was held. We should observe, in 
the first place, that this was no mere " curia de more " : 

* " The news of this [Scottish] " The second charter . . . was put 

inroad reached Stephen at Oxford, forth at Oxford before the first year 
where he had just put forth his of his rei^ was out. Stephen had 
second charter " {Norm.Conq.^ v. 258). just come back victorious from driv- 
ing back a Scottish invasion (see 
p. 258) " {ibid., p. 246). 
* See Mr. Vincent's learned criticism on Mr. Freeman's History of Wells 
Cathedral : " I detect throughout these pages an infirmity, a confirmed 
habit of inaccuracy. The author of this book, I should infer from number- 
less passages, cannot revise what he writes" (Genealogist, (N.S.) ii. 179). 
3 " In fine Xatalis " (Hen. Hunt., 258). * Sym. Dun., ii. 287. 


it was emphatically a great or national council. The 
author of the Gesta describes it thus : — 

"Omnibus igitur summatibus regni, fide et jurejurando cum rege 
constrictis, edicto per Angliam promulgato, suramos ecclesiarum due- 
tores cum primis populi ad concilium Londonias conscivit. Illis quoque 
quasi in unam sentinam illuc confluentibus ecclesiarumque columnis 
sedendi ordine dispositis, vulgo etiam coiif ase et permixtim/ ut solet, 
ubique se ingerente, plura regno et ecclesise profutura fuerunt et 
utiliter ostensa et salubriter pertractata." ^ 

We have clearly in this great council, held on the 
first court day (Easter) after the king's coronation, a re- 
vival of the splendours of former reigns, so sorely dimmed 
beneath the rule of his bereaved and parsimonious uncle.^ 

Henry of Huntingdon has a glowing description of this 
Easter court,* which reminds one of William of Malmes- 
bury's pictures of the Conqueror in his glory.^ When, 
therefore, Dr. Stubbs tells us that this custom of the 
Conqueror '' was restored by Henry II." {Const. Hist., 
i. 370), he ignores this brilliant revival at the outset of 
Stephen's reign. Stephen, coming into possession of his 
predecessor's hoarded treasure, was as eager to plunge into 
costly pomp as was Henry VIII. on the death of his mean 

* The curious words, "vulgo . . . ingerente,'* may be commended to 
those who uphold the doctriue of democratic survivals in these assemblies. 
They would doubtless jump at them as proof that the " vulgus " took part in 
the proceedings. The evidence, however, is, in any case, of indisputable 

2 Ed. Hewlett, p. 17. 

' " Quem morem convivandi primus successor obstinate tenuit, secundus 
omisit" (Will Malms.). 

* " Kediens autem inde rex in Quadragesima tenuit curiam suam apud 
Lundoniam in solemnitate Paschali, qua nunquam fuerat splendidior in 
Anglia multitudine, magnitudine, auro, argento, gemmis, vestibus, omnimoda- 
que dapsilitate " (p. 259). 

' "[Consuetude] erat ut ter in anno cuncti optimates ad curiam con- 
veuirent de necessariis regui tractaturi, simulque visuri regis iusigne 
quomodo iret gemmate fastigiatus diademate" (Vita S. Wulstani). "Con- 
vivia in prsscipuis festivitatibus sumptuosa et magnifica inibat ; . . . omnes 
eo cujuscunque professionis magnates regium edictum accersiebat, ut 
exterarum gentium legati speciem multitudinis apparatumque deliciarum 
mirarentur" (Gesta regum). 



and grasping sire. There were also more solid reasons 
for this dazzling assembly. It was desirable for the king 
to show himself to his new subjects in his capital, sur- 
rounded not only by the evidence of wealth, but by that 
of his national acceptance. The presence at his court 
of the magnates from all parts of the realm was a fact 
which would speak for itself, and to secure which he had 
clearly resolved that no pains should be spared.^ 

If the small group who attended his coronation had 
indeed been *'but a poor substitute for the great councils 
which had attended the summons of William and Henry," 
he was resolved that this should be forgotten in the 
splendour of his Easter court. 

This view is strikingly confirmed by the lists of wit- 
nesses to two charters which must have passed on this 
occasion. The one is a grant to the see of Winchester 
of the manor of Sutton, in Hampshire, in exchange for 
Morden, in Surrey. The other is a grant of the bishopric 
of Bath to Robert of Lewes. The former is dated 
"Apud Westmonasterium in presentia et audientia sub- 
scriptorum anno incarnationis dominicae, 1136," etc. ; 
the latter, *'Apud Westmonasterium in generalis concilii 
celebratione et Paschalis festi solemnitate." At first 
sight, I confess, both charters have a rather spurious 
appearance. Their stilted style awakes suspicion, which 
is not lessened by the dating clauses or the extraordinary 
number of witnesses. Coming, however, from independent 
sources, and dealing with two unconnected subjects, they 
mutually confirm one another. We have, moreover, still 
extant the charter by which Henry II. confirmed the 
former of the two, and as this is among the duchy of 
Lancaster records, we have every reason to believe that 

' See in Gesla (ed. Hewlett, pp. 15, 16) his persistent efforts to conciliate 
the ministers of Henry I., and especially the Marchers of the west. 


the original charter itself was, as both its transcribers 
assert, among them also. Again, as to the lists of wit- 
nesses. Abnormally long though these may seem, we 
must remember that in the charters of Henry I., especially 
towards the close of his reign, there was a tendency to 
increase the number of witnesses. Moreover, in the Ox- 
ford charter, by which these were immediately followed, 
we have a long list of witnesses (thirty-seven), and, which 
is noteworthy, it is similarly arranged on a principle of 
classification, the court officers being grouped together. 
I have, therefore, given in an appendix, for the purpose of 
comparison, all three lists.-^ If we analyze those appended 
to the two London charters, we find their authenticity 
confirmed by the fact that, while the Earl of Gloucester, 
who was abroad at the time, is conspicuously absent 
from the list, Henry, son of the King of Scots, duly 
appears among the attesting earls, and we are specially 
told by John of Hexham that he was present at this 
Easter court.^ Miles of Gloucester and Brian fitz Count 
also figure together among the witnesses — a fact, from 
their position, of some importance.^ It is, too, of interest 
for our purpose, to note that among them is Geoffrey de 
Mandeville. The extraordinary number of witnesses to 
these charters (no less than fifty-five in one case, excluding 
the king and queen, and thirty-six in the other) is not 
only of great value as giving us the 'personnel of this 
brilliant court, but is also, when compared with the Ox- 

^ See Appendix C. 

2 "lu Paschali vero festivitate rex Stephanus eundem Henricum in 
lionorem in reverentia prsefereus, ad dexteram suam sedere fecit" {Sym. 
Dun., ii. 287). 

' Dr. Stubbs appears, unless I am mistaken, to imply that they first 
appear at court as witnesses to the (later) Oxford charter. He writes, of 
that charter : " Her [the Empress's] most faithful adherents. Miles of Here- 
ford " [rect€ Gloucester] " and Brian of Wallingford, were also among the 
witnesses; probably the retreat of the King of Scots had made her cause 
for the time hopeless " (Const. Hid., i. 821, note). 


ford charter, suggestive perhaps of a desire, by the king, 
to place on record the names of those whom he had in- 
duced to attend his courts and so to recognize his claims. 
Mr. Pym Yeatman more than once, in his strange History 
of the House of Arundel, quotes the charter to Winchester 
as from a transcript " among the valuable collection of 
MSS. belonging to the Earl of Egmont " (p. 49). It may, 
therefore, be of benefit to students to remind them that 
it is printed in Hearne's Liher Niger (ii. 808, 809). 
Mr. Yeatman, moreover, observes of this charter — 

" It contains the names of no less than thirty-four noblemen of the 
highest rank (excluding only the Earl of Gloucester), but not a single 
ecclesiastical witness attests the grant, which is perhaps not remarkable, 
since it was a dangerous precedent to deal in such a matter with 
Church property, perhaps a new precedent created by Stephen" (p. 286). 

To other students it will appear *' perhaps not re- 
markable" that the charter is witnessed by the unusual 
number of no less than three archbishops and thirteen 

Now, although this was a national council, the state 
and position of the Church was the chief subject of 
discussion. The author of the Gesta, who appears to have 
been well informed on the subject, shows us the prelates 
appealing to Stephen to relieve the Church from the 
intolerable oppression which she had suffered, under the 
form of law, at the hands of Henry I. Stephen, bland, 
for the time, to all, and more especially to the powerful 
Church, listened graciously to their prayers, and promised 
all they asked. ^ In the grimly jocose language of the day, 
the keys of the Church, which had been held by Simon 
(Magus), were henceforth to be restored to Peter. To this 

* See Appendix C. 

^ " His autem rex patienter auditis quaecumque postularant gratuite eis 
indulgens ecclesise libertatem fixam et inviolabilem esse, illius statuta rata 
et inconcussa, ejus ministros cujuscunque professionis tssent vel ordiuis, 
omiii revereutia honorandos esse prajcepit " (Gesta). 


I trace a distinct allusion in the curious phrase which 
meets us in the Bath charter. Stephen grants the 
bishopric of Bath '^ canonica prius electione prsecedente.'^ 
This recognition of the Church's right, with the public 
record of the fact, confirms the account of his attitude on 
this occasion to the Church. The whole charter contrasts 
strangely with that by which, fifteen years before, his 
predecessor had granted the bishopric of Hereford, and its 
reference to the counsel and consent of the magnates 
betrays the weakness of his position. 

This council took place, as I have said, at London and 
during Easter. But there is some confusion on the subject. 
Mr. Howlett, in his excellent edition of the Gesta, assigns 
it, in footnotes (pp. 17, 18), to " early in April." But 
his argument that, as that must have been (as it was) the 
date of the (Oxford) charter, it was consequently that of 
the (London) council, confuses two distinct events. In 
this he does but follow the Gesta, which similarly runs into 
one the two consecutive events. Kichard of Hexham 
also, followed by John of Hexham,^ combines in one the 
council at London with the charter issued at Oxford, besides 
placing them both, wrongly, far too late in the year. 

Here are the passages in point taken from both writers : — 

EiCHARD OF Hexham. John of Hexham. 

Eodem quoque anno Innocen- Eodem anno Inoocentius papa 

tins Eomanse sedis Apostolicus, litteris ab Apostolicd sede directis 

Stephano regi Anglise litteras eundem regem Stephanum in ne- 

suas transmisit, quibus eum Apo- gotiis regni confirmavit. Harum 

stolica auctoritate in regno AnglisB tenore litterarum rex instructus, 

confirmavit. . . . Igitur Stephanus generali convocato concilio bonas 

his et aliis modis in regno Anglise et antiquas leges, et justos con- 

confirmatus, episcopos et proceres suetudines prsecepit conservari, 

sui regni regali edicto in nnum injastitias vero cassari. 
convenire preecepit; cum quibus 
hoc generale concilium celebravit. 

* John's list of bishops attesting the (London) council is taken from 
Richard's list of bishops attesting the (Oxford) charter. 


The point to keep clearly in mind is that the Earl of 
Gloucester was not present at the Easter court in London, 
and that, landing subsequently, he was present when the 
charter of liberties was granted at Oxford. So short an 
interval of time elapsed that there cannot have been two 
councils. There was, I believe, one council which ad- 
journed from London to Oxford, and which did so on 
purpose to meet the virtual head of the opposition, the 
powerful Earl of Gloucester. It must have been the 
waiting for his arrival at court which postponed the issue 
of the charter, and it is not wonderful that, under these 
circumstances, the chroniclers should have made of the 
whole but one transaction. 

The earl, on his arrival, did homage, with the very 
important and significant reservation that his loyalty 
would be strictly conditional on Stephen's behaviour to 

His example in this respect was followed by the 
bishops, for we read in the chronicler, immediately after- 
wards : 

" Eodem anDO, non multo post adYentum comitis, jurayerimt epis- 
copi fidelitatem regi quamdiu ille libertatem ecclesiffi et vigorem 
disciplinae conservaret." ^ 

By this writer the incident in question is recorded in con- 
nection with the Oxford charter. In this he must be 
correct, if it was subsequent to the earl's homage, for this 
latter itself, we see, must have been subsequent to Easter. 
Probably the council at London was the preliminary 
to that treaty {convencid) between the king and the 
bishops, at which William of Malmesbury so plainly hints, 

' "Eodem anno post PaschaEobertus comes Glocestrse, cujus prudentiam 
rex Stephanus maxima verebatur, venit in Angliam. . . . Itaque homagium 
regi fecit sub contlitione quadam, scilicet quamdiu ilLe dignitatem suam 
integre custodiret et sibi pacta servaret " {Will. Malms., 705, 707). 
Ibid., 707. 


and of which the Oxford charter is virtually the exponent 
record. For this, I take it, is the point to be steadily 
kept in view, namely, that the terms of such a charter as 
this are the resultant of two opposing forces — the one, the 
desire to extort from the king the utmost possible conces- 
sion ; the other, his desire to extort homage at the lowest 
price he could. Taken in connection with the presence at 
Oxford of his arch-opponent, the Earl of Gloucester, this 
view, I would venture to urge, may lead us to the conclu- 
sion that this extended version of his meagre ^' coronation 
charter " represents his final and definite acceptance, by 
the magnates of England, as their king. 

It may be noticed, incidentally, as illustrative of the 
chronicle-value of charters, that not a single chronicler 
records this eventful assembly at Oxford. Our knowledge 
of it is derived wholly and solely from the testing-clause 
of the charter itself — ''Apud Oxeneford, anno ab incar- 
natione Domini mcxxxvi." Attention should also, per- 
haps, be drawn to this repeated visit to Oxford, and to 
the selection of that spot for this assembly. For this its 
central position may, doubtless, partly account, especially 
if the Earl of Gloucester was loth to come further east. 
But it also, we must remember, represented for Stephen, 
as it were, a post of observation, commanding, in Bristol 
and Gloucester, the two strongholds of the opposition. 
So, conversely, it represented to the Empress an advanced 
post resting on their base. 

Lastly, I think it perfectly possible to fix pretty closely 
the date of this assembly and charter. Easter falling 
on the 22nd of March, neither the king nor the Earl of 
Gloucester would have reached Oxford till the end of March 
or, perhaps, the beginning of April. But as early as 
Eogation-tide (April 26-29) it was rumoured that the king 
was dead, and Hugh Bigod, who, as a royal dapifer, had 


been among the witnesses to this Oxford charter, burst 
into revolt at once.^ Then followed the suppression of the 
rebellion, and the king's breach of the charter.^ It would 
seem, therefore, to be beyond question that this assembly 
took place early in April (1136). 

I have gone thus closely into these details in order to 
bring out as clearly as possible the process, culminating 
in the Oxford charter, by which the succession of Stephen 
was gradually and, above all, conditionally secured. 

Stephen, as a king, was an admitted failure. I cannot, 
however, but view with suspicion the causes assigned to 
his failure by often unfriendly chroniclers. That their 
criticisms had some foundation it would not be possible 
to deny. But in the first place, had he enjoyed better 
fortune, we should have heard less of his incapacity, and 
in the second, these writers, not enjoying the same stand- 
point as ourselves, were, I think, somewhat inclined to 
mistake effects for causes. Stephen, for instance, has 
been severely blamed, mainly on the authority of Henry 
of Huntingdon,^ for not punishing more severely the rebels 
who held Exeter against him in 1136. Surely, in doing 
so, his critics must forget the parallel cases of both his 
predecessors. William Rufus at the siege of Rochester 
(1088), Henry I. at the siege of Bridgnorth (1102), should 
both be remembered when dealing with Stephen at the 
siege of Exeter. In both these cases, the people had 
clamoured for condign punishment on the traitors ; in 
both, the king, who had conquered by their help, was held 
back by the jealousy of his barons, from punishing their 
fellows as they deserved. We learn from the author of 
the Ge^ta that the same was the case at Exeter. The 

» Ben. Hunt., p. 259. ^ Ibid., p. 260. 

' " Yindictam non exercuit in proditores suos, pessimo consilio usus ; si 
enim earn tunc exercuisset, postea contra eum tot castelia reteuta non fuis- 
sent" (Hen. fl"?/?if., p. 259). 


king's barons again intervened to save those who had 
rebelled from ruin, and at the same time to prevent the 
king from securing too signal a triumph. 

This brings us to the true source of his weakness 
throughout his reign. That weakness was due to two 
causes, each supplementing the other. These were — (1) the 
essentially unsatisfactory character of his position, as 
resting, virtually, on a compact that he should be king so 
long only as he gave satisfaction to those who had placed 
him on the throne ; (2) the existence of a rival claim, 
hanging over him from the first, like the sword of Damocles, 
and affording a lever by which the malcontents could 
compel him to adhere to the original understanding, or 
even to^ submit to further demands. 

Let us glance at them both in succession. 

Stephen himself describes his title in the opening clause 
of his Oxford charter : — 

" Ego Stephanus Dei gratia assensu cleri et populi in regem Anglo- 
rum electus, et a Willelmo Cantuariensi archiepiscopo et sanctjB 
Komanae ecclesisB legato consecratus, et ab Innocentio sanctse Eomanse 
sedis pontifice confirmatus." ^ 

On this clause Dr. Stubbs observes : — 

"His rehearsal of his title is curious and important; it is worth 
while to compare it with that of Henry I., but it need not necessarily 
be interpreted as showing a consciousness of weakness." ^ 

Eeferring to the charter of Henry I., we find the clause 
phrased thus : — 

" Henkicijs filius Willelmi Kegis post obitum fratris sui Wil- 
lelmi, Dei gratia rex Anglorum." ^ 

Surely the point to strike us here is that the clause 
in Stephen's charter contains just that which is omitted in 
Henry's, and omits just that which is contained in Henry's. 
Henry puts forward his relationship to his father and his 

* Meet Charters, 114 (cf. Will Malms.). 2 j^^-^ 3 xbid., 96. 


brother as the sole explanation of bis position as king. 
Stephen omits all mention of his relationship. Conversely, 
the election, etc., set forth by Stephen, finds no place in 
the charter of Henry. What can be more significant than 
this contrast ? Again, the formula in Stephen's charter 
should be compared not only with that of Henry, but with 
that of his daughter the Empress. As the father had 
styled himself "Henricus filius Willelmi Regis," so his 
daughter invariably styled herself ^'Matildis . . . Henrici 
regis [or regis Henrici] filia ; " and so her son, in his time, 
is styled (1142), as we shall find in a charter quoted in 
this work, " Henricus filius filiae regis Henrici." To the 
importance of this fact I shall recur below. Meanwhile, 
the point to bear in mind is, that Stephen's style contains 
no allusion to his parentage, though, strangely enough, in 
a charter which must have passed in the first year of his 
reign, he does adopt the curious style of ''Ego Stephanus 
Willelmi Anglorum primi Regis nepos," etc.,^ in which 
he hints, contrary to his practice, at a quasi-hereditary 

Returning, however, to his Oxford charter, in which he 
did not venture to allude to such claim, we find him 
appealing {a) to his election, which, as we have seen, was 
informal enough ; (6) to his anointing by the primate ; 
(c) to his "confirmation" by the pope. It is impossible 
to read such a formula as this in any other light than that 
of an attempt to ''make up a title" under difiiculties. I 
do not know that it has ever been suggested, though the 

» Confirmation Boll, 1 Hen. VIII., Part 5, No. 13 (quoted by Mr. J. A. C. 
Vincent in Genealogist (N. S.), it. 271). This should be compared with the 
argument of his friends when urging the primate to crown him, that he had 
not ODly been elected to the throne (by the Londoners), but also "ad hoc 
justo germanx propinquitatis jure idoneus accessit" (fiesta, p. 8), and with the 
admission, shortly after, in the pope's letter, that among his claims he "de 
prsefati regis [Henrici] prosapia prope posito gradu originem traxisse." 


hypothesis would seem highly probable, that the stress 
laid by Stephen upon the ecclesiastical sanction to his 
succession may have been largely due, as I have said 
(p. 10), to the obstacle presented by the oath that had 
been sworn to the Empress. Of breaking that oath the 
Church, he held, had pronounced him not guilty. 

Yet it is not so much on this significant style, as on the 
drift of the charter itself, that I depend for support of my 
thesis that Stephen was virtually king on sufferance, or, to 
anticipate a phrase of later times, ** Quamdiu se bene 
gesserit." We have seen how in the four typical cases, (1) 
of the Londoners, (2) of Miles of Gloucester, (3) of Earl 
Robert, (4) of the bishops, Stephen had only secured their 
allegiance by submitting to that " original contract "which 
the political philosophers of a later age evolved from their 
inner consciousness. It was because his Oxford charter set 
the seal to this '* contract " that Stephen, even then, chafed 
beneath its yoke, as evidenced by the striking saving 
clause — 

"HsBC omnia concedo et confirrao salva regia et justa dignitate 

And, as we know, at the first opportunity, he hastened to 
break its bonds. ^ 

The position of his opponents throughout his reign 
would seem to have rested on two assumptions. The first, 
that a breach, on his part, of the ''contract" justified 
ij)so facto revolt on theirs ; ^ the second, that their allegi- 

* Select Charters, 115. But cf. Will. Malms. 

' As further illustrating the compromise of whicli this charter was the 
resultant, note that Stephen retains and combines the formula " Dei gratia " 
with the recital of election, and that he further represents the election as 
merely a popular '■^ assent ^^ to his succession. 

' Compare the clause in the Confirmatio Cartarum of 1265, establishing 
the right of insurrection : " Liceat omnibus de regno nostro contra nos in- 


ance to the king was a purel}^ feudal relation, and, as 
such, could be thrown off at any moment by performing 
the famous difidatio} 

This essential feature of continental feudalism had 
been rigidly excluded by the Conqueror. He had taken 
advantage, as is well known, of his position as an English 
king, to extort an allegiance from his Norman followers 
more absolute than he could have claimed as their feudal 
lord. It was to Stephen's peculiar position that was due 
the introduction for a time of this pernicious principle 
into England. We have seen it hinted at in that charter 
of Stephen in which he treats with Miles of Gloucester 
not merely as his king {rex), but also as his feudal lord 
{dominus). We shall find it acted on three years later 
(1139), when this same Miles, with his own dominuSy 
the Earl of Gloucester, jointly " defy " Stephen before 
declaring for the Empress.^ 

Passing now to the other point, the existence of a rival 
claim, we approach a subject of great interest, the theory 
of the succession to the English Crown at what may be 
termed the crisis of transition from the principle of 

* See inter alia, Hallam's Middle Agen, i. 168, 169. 

^ " Fama per Angliam volitabat, quod comes Gloecestrae Robertus, qui 
erat in Normannia, in proximo partes sororis foret adjuturus, rege tantum- 
modo ante diMdato. Nee fides rerum famge levitatem destituit : celeriter 
enim post Pentecosten missis a Xormannia suis regi rnore majorum amici- 
tiam etjidem interdixit, homagio etiam dbdicato ; rationera praeferens quam id 
juste faceret, quia et rex illicite ad regnum aspiraverat, et omnem fidem 
sibi juratam neglexerat, ne dicam mentitus fuerat" ( Will. Malms., 712). So, 
too, the Continuator of Florence : " Interim facta conjuratione adversus 
regem per prsedictum Brycstowensem comitem et conestabularium Milonem, 
ahnegata fidelitate quam illi juraverant, . . . Milo constabularius, regix 
majestati redditis fidei sacramentis, ad dominum suum, comitem Glouces- 
trensem, cum grandi manu militum se contulit " (pp. 110, 117). Compare with 
these passages the extraordinary complaint made against Stephen's conduct 
in attacking Lincoln without sending a formal "defiance" to his opponents, 
and the singular treaty, in this reign, between the Earls of Chester and of 
Leicester, in which the latter was bound not to attack th*^ former, as his 
lord, without sending him the formal " diflfidatio " a clear fortnight beforehand. 


election (within the royal house) to that of hereditary 
right according to feudal rules. 

For the right view on this subject, we turn, as ever, 
to Dr. Stubbs, who, with his usual sound judgment, writes 
thus of the Norman period \— 

" The crown then continued to be elective. . . . But whilst the 
elective principle was maintained in its fulness where it was necessary 
or possible to maintain it, it is quite certain that the right of inherit- 
ance, and inheritance as primogeniture, was recognized as co-ordinate. 
. . . The measures taken by Henry I. for securing the crown to his 
own children, whilst they prove the acceptance of the hereditary 
principle, prove also the importance of strengthening it by the recogni- 
tion of the elective theory .^ 

Mr. Freeman, though writing with a strong bias in 
favour of the elective theory, is fully justified in his main 
argument, namely, that Stephen '* was no usurper in the 
sense in which the word is vulgarly used."^ He urges, 
apparently with perfect truth, that Stephen's offence, 
in the eyes of his contemporaries, lay in his breaking his 
solemn oath, and not in his supplanting a rightful heir. 
And he aptly suggests that the wretchedness of his reign 
may have hastened the growth of that new belief in the 
divine right of the heir to the throne, which first appears 
under Henry II., and in the pages of William of 

So far as Stephen is concerned the case is clear 
enough. But we have also to consider the Empress. On 
what did she base her claim ? I think that, as implied in 
Dr. Stubbs' words, she based it on a double, not a single, 

» Const. Hist., i. 338, 340. 2 iWm. Conq., v. 251. 

' "In a later stage, when the son of his rival was firm on the throne, the 
doctrine of female succession took root under a king who by the spindle-side 
sprang from both WilHam and Cerdic, but who by the spear-side had nothing 
to do with either. Then it was that men began to find out that Stephen had 
been guilty not only of breaking his oath, but also of defrauding the heir to 
the crown of her lawful right" (ibid., p. 252). 


ground. She claimed the kingdom as King Henry's 
daughter ('' regis Henrici filia "), but she claimed it 
further because the succession had been assured to her 
by oath (" sibi juratum ") as such.^ It is important to 
observe that the oath in question can in no way be 
regarded in the light of an election. To understand it 
aright, we must go back to the precisely similar oath 
which had been previously sworn to her brother. As 
early as 1116, the king, in evident anxiety to secure the 
succession to his heir, had called upon a gathering of 
the magnates ''of all England," on the historic spot of 
Salisbury, to swear allegiance to his son (March 19).^ 
It was with reference to this event that Eadmer described 
him at his death (November, 1120) as ''Willelmum jam 
olim regni haeredem designatum " (p. 290). Before leaving 
Normandy in November, 1120, the king similarly secui'ed 
the succession of the duchy to his son by compelling its 
barons to swear that they would be faithful to the youth. ^ 
On the destruction of his plans by his son's death, he 
hastened to marr}^ again in the hope of securing, once 
more, a male heir. Despairing of this after some years, 
he took advantage of the Emperor's death to insist on his 
daughter's return, and brought her with him to England 
in the autumn of 112G. He was not long in taking steps 
to secure her recognition as his heir (subject however, 
as the Continuator and Symeon are both careful to point 

^ " Henrici regis filia, . . . veheineDter exhilarata utpote regnum sibi 
juratum . , . jam adepta" (Cont. Flor. Wig., 130). But the above duplex 
character of her claim is best brought out iu her foriwal request that the 
legate should receive her " tuuquam regis Henrici filiam et cui omnis Anglia 
et Normannia jurata esset." 

2 " Conventiooptimatum et barouum totius Auglite apud Salesbyriam xiv. 
kalend. Aprilis facta est, qui iu prsesentia regis Henrici homagium filio suo 
Willelmo fecerunt, et fidelitatem el juraverunt" {Flor. Wig., ii. 69). 

' "Xorniannise priiicipes, jubente rege, filio suo Willelmo jam tunc xviii. 
annorum, hominium faciunt, et fid^litatis securitatem sacraraentis aflSrmant" 
(Sym. Dun., ii. 258). 


out, to no son being born to him), by the same oath being 
sworn to her as, in 1116, had been sworn to his son. 
It was taken, not (as is always stated) in 1126, but on 
the 1st of January, 1127.^ Of what took place upon that 
occasion, there is, happily, full evidence.^ 

"We have independent reports of the transaction from 
William of Malmesbury, Symeon of Durham, the Con- 
tinuator of Florence, and Gervase of Canterbury.^ From 
this last we learn (the fact is, therefore, doubtful) that 
the oath secured the succession, not only to the Empress, 
but to her heirs.^ The Continuator's version is chiefly 
important as bringing out the action of the king in 
assigning the succession to his daughter, the oath being 
merely an undertaking to secure the arrangement he had 
made.^ Symeon introduces the striking expression that 

^ Oddly enough, the correct date must be sought from Symeon of Durham , 
though, at first siglit, he is the most inaccurate, as he places tlie event under 
1128 (a date accepted, in the margin, by his editor) instead of 1126, the year 
given by the other chroniclers. But from him we learn that the Christmas 
court {i.e. Christmas 1126) was adjourned from Windsor to London, for the 
new year, " ubi Circumcisione Domini " (January 1) the actual oath was taken. 
William of Malmesbury dates it, loosely, at Christmas (1126), but the Con- 
tinuator of Florence, more accurately, " finitis diebus festivioribus " (p. 84), 
which confirms Symeon's statement. 

2 It is scarcely realized so clearly as it should be that the oath taken on 
this occasion was that to which reference was always made. Dr. Stubbs 
{Const. Hist., i. 341) recognizes "a similar oath in 1131 " (on the authority 
of William of Malmesbury), and another in 1133 (on the authority of Roger 
of Hoveden). But the former is only incidentally mentioned, and is neither 
alluded to elsewhere, nor referred to subsequently by William himself ; and 
the latter, which is similarly devoid of any contemporary confirmation, is 
represented as securing the succession, not to Matilda, but to her son. It is 
strange that so recent and important an oath as this, if it was really taken, 
should have been ignored in the controversy under Stephen, and the earlier 
oath, described above, alone appealed to. 

* Henry of Huntingdon merely alludes to it, retrospectively, at Stephen's 
accession, as the "sacramentum fidelitatis Anglici regni filise regis Henrici" 
(p. 256). 

* "Fecit principes tt potentes adjurare eidem filiae suae et heredibus suis 
legitimis regnum Anglise" (i. 93). This is, perhaps, somewhat confirmed by 
the words which the author of the Gesta places in the primate's mouth (p. 7). 

' " In filiam suam, sororem scilicet Willelmi, . . . regni jura transferebat " 


the Empress was to succeed " haereditario jure," ^ but 
William of Malmesbury, iu the speech which he places 
in the king's mouth, far outstrips this in his assertion 
of hereditary right : — 

"prsefatus quanto incoinmodo patriae fortuna Willelinum filium 
suum sibi surripuisset, cui jure regnum competeret : nunc superesse 
filiam, cui soli legitima deheafur successio, ah avo, avunculo^ et patre 
regibus ; a materno genere multis retro seculis." ^ 

Bearing in mind the time at which William wrote 
these words, it will be seen that the Empress and her 
partisans must have largely, to say the least, based their 
claim on her right to the throne as her father's heir, and 
that she and they appealed to the oath as the admission 
and recognition of that right, rather than as partaking in 
any way whatever of the character of a free election.^ 
Thus her claim was neatly traversed by Stephen's advo- 
cates, at Rome, in 1136, when they urged that she was 
not her father's heir, and that, consequently, the oath 
which had been sworn to her as such (" sicut haeredi ") 
was void. 

It is, as I have said, in the above light that I view her 

(p. 85). The oath to secure lier this succession was taken " ad jussum regis " 
(p. 84). Compare with this expression that of Gervase above, and that 
(quantum valeat) of Roger Hoveden, viz. " constituit eum regem ; " also the 
"jubente rege " of Symeon iu 1120. It was accordingly urged, at Stephen's 
accession, that the oath had been compulsoryj and was therefore invalid. 

' " Juraverunt ut filisB suae imperatrici fide servata regnum Anglise Timre- 
ditario jure post eum servarent " (p. 281). Compare V^llliam of Newburgh, 
on Henry's acce.-sion: " Hsereditarium regnum suscepit." These expressions 
are the more noteworthy because of the contrast they afford to the Conqueror's 
dying words, " Neminem Anglici constituo heredem . . . non enim tantum 
decus liereditario jure possedi" (OrcZ. FiY.). 

2 Will. Malms., 691. 

' That the oath of January 1, 1127, preceding the marriage of the 
Empress, was, as I. have urged, the ruling one seems to be further implied 
by the passage in "William of Malmesbury : " Ego Rogerum Salesbiriensem 
episcopum ssepe dicentem audivi, ' Solutum se sacramento quod imperatrici 
fecemt: eo enim pacto se jurasse, ne rex prseter consilium sunm et cseterorum 
procerum filiam cuiquam nuptam daret extra regnum,' " etc., etc. (p. 693). 


unvarying use of the style *' regis Henrici filia," and that 
this was the true character of her claim will be seen from 
the terms of a charter I shall quote, which has hitherto, 
it would seem, remained unknown, and in which she 
recites that, on arriving in England, she was promptly 
welcomed by Miles of Gloucester " sicut illam quam 
justam haeredem regni Anglise recognovit." 

The sex of the Empress was the drawback to her claim. 
Had her brother lived, there can be little question that he 
would, as a matter of course, have succeeded his father 
at his death. Or again, had Henry II. been old enough 
to succeed his grandfather, he would, we may be sure, 
have done so. But as to the Empress, even admitting the 
justice of her claim, it was by no means clear in whom it 
was vested. It might either be vested {a) in herself, in 
accordance with our modern notions ; or (&) in her husband, 
in accordance with feudal ones ; ^ or (c) in her son, as, in 
the event, it was. It may be said that this point was still 
undecided as late as 1142, when Geoffrey was invited to 
come to England, and decided to send his son instead, 
to represent the hereditary claim. The force of circum- 
stances, however, as we shall find, had compelled the 
Empress, in the hour of her triumph (1141), to take her 

* As for instance when Henry II. obtained Aquitaine with his wife. 
There is, as it happens, a passage in Symeon of Durham, which may have 
been somewhat overlooked, where it is distinctly stated that in the autumn 
of the year (1127), Henry conceded, as a condition of the Angevin match, 
that, in default of his having a son, Geoffrey of Anjou should succeed him 
(" remque ad effectum perduxit eo tenore ut regi, de legitima conjuge hsere- 
dem non habenti, mortuo qener illius in regnum succederet "). That Geoffrey's 
claim was recognized at the time is clear from the striking passage quoted 
by Mr, Freeman from his panegyrist (" sceptro . . . non injuste aspirante "), 
and even more so from the explicit statement: "Volente igitur Gaufrido 
comite cum uxore su^, quse hseres erat [here again is an allusion to her 
hereditary right], in regnum succedere, primores terrae, juramenti sui male 
recordantes, regew eum suscipere noluerunt, dicentes ' Alienigena nou 
regnabit super nos'" {Select Charters, p. 110). 



own course, and to claim the throne for herself as queen, 
though even this would not decide the point, as, had she 
succeeded, her husband, we may be sure, would have 
claimed the title of king. 

Broadly s^Deaking, to sum up the evidence here col- 
lected, it tends to the belief that the obsolescence of the 
right of election to the English crown presents consider- 
able analogy to that of canonical election in the case of 
English bishoiH'ics. In both cases a free election 
degenerated into a mere assent to a choice already made. 
AVe see the process of change already in full operation 
when Henry I. endeavours to extort beforehand from 
the magnates their assent to his daughter's succession, 
and when they subsequently complain of this attempt 
to dictate to them on the subject. We catch sight of it 
again when his daughter bases her claim to the crown, 
not on any free election, but on her rights as her father's 
heir, confirmed by the above assent. We see it, lastly, 
when Stephen, though owing his crown to election, claims 
to rule by Divine right (" Dei gratia "^), and attempts to 
reduce that election to nothing more than a national 
''assent" to his succession. Obviously, the w^hole ques- 
tion turned on whether the election was to be held first, 
or was to be a mere ratification of a choice already made. 
Thus, at the very time when Stephen was formulating his 
title, he was admitting, in the case of the bishopric of 
Bath, that the canonical election had preceded his own 
nomination of the bishop.^ Yet it is easy to see how, 
as the Crown grew in strength, the elections, in both cases 
alike, would become, more and more, virtually matters of 
form, while a weak sovereign or a disputed succession 

' Compare the style of " Alphonso XIII., by the grace of God constitu- 
tional King of Spain." 

' "Canonica prius electione prsecedente." 


would afford an opportunity for this historical survival, 
in the case at least of the throne, to recover for a moment 
its pristine strength. 

Before quitting the point, I would venture briefly to 
resume my grounds for urging that, in comparing Stephen 
with his successor, the difference between their circum- 
stances has been insufficiently allowed for. At Stephen's 
accession, thirty years of legal and financial oppression 
had rendered unpopular the power of the Crown, and had 
led to an impatience of official restraint which opened the 
path to a feudal reaction : at the accession of Henry, on 
the contrary, the evils of an enfeebled administration and 
of feudalism run mad had made all men eager for the 
advent of a strong king, and had prepared them to welcome 
the introduction of his centralizing administrative reforms. 
He anticipated the position of the house of Tudor at the 
close of the Wars of the Roses, and combined with it the 
advantages which Charles II. derived from the Puritan 
tyranny. Again, Stephen was hampered from the first 
by his weak position as a king on sufferance, whereas 
Henry came to his work unhampered by compact or con- 
cession. Lastly, Stephen was confronted throughout by 
a rival claimant, who formed a splendid rallying-point for 
all the discontent in his realm : but Henry reigned for as 
long as Stephen without a rival to trouble him ; and when 
he found at length a rival in his own son, a claim far 
weaker than that which had threatened his predecessor 
seemed likely for a time to break his power as effectually 
as the followers of the Empress had broken that of Stephen. 
He may only, indeed, have owed his escape to that efficient 
administration which years of strength and safety had 
given him the time to construct. 

It in no way follows from these considerations that 
Henry was not superior to Stephen ; but it does, surely. 


suggest itself that Stej)hen's disadvantages Tvere great> and 
that had he enjoyed better fortune, -we might have heard 
less of his defects. It will be at least established by 
the evidence adduced in this work that some of the 
charges which are brought against him can no longer 
be maintained. 




Geoffrey de Mandeville was the grandson and heir of a 
follower of the conqueror of the same name. From 
Mandeville, a village, according to Mr. Stapleton, near 
Trevieres in the Bessin,^ the family took its name, which, 
being Latinized as '*De Magnavilla," is often found as "De 
Magnaville." The elder Geoffrey appears in Domesday 
as a considerable tenant-in-chief, his estates lying in no 
less than eleven different counties.^ On the authority of 
the Monasticon he is said by Dugdale to have been made 
constable of the Tower. Dugdale, however, has here 
misquoted his own authority, for the chronicle printed by 
him states, not that Geoffrey, but that his son and heir 
(William) received this office.^ Its statement is confirmed 

^ RotuU Scaccarii Normannias^ n. clxxxviii. Such was also the opinion 
of M. Leopold Delisle. The French editors, however, of Ordericus write: 
" On ne salt auquel des nombreux Magneville, Mandeville, Manneville de 
Norraandie rapporter le berceau de cette illustre maison" (iv. 108). 

* There is a curious story in the Waltham Chronicle (De Liventione, 
cap. xiii.) that the Conqueror placed Geoffrey in the shoes of Esegar the 
staller. The passage runs thus : " Cui [Tovi] successit filius ejus Adelstanus 
pater Esegari qui stalra inventus est in Angliae conquisitione a Normannis, 
cujus hereditatem postea dedit conquisitor terrse, rex Willelmus, Galfrido de 
Mandevile proavi presentis comitis Willelmi. Successit quidem Adelstanus 
patri suo Tovi, non in totam quidem possessionem quara possederat pater, fed 
in eam tantum quae pertinebat ad stallariam, quam nunc habet comes 
Willelmus." The special interest of this story lies in the official connection 
of Esegar [or Ansgar] the staller with London and Middlesex, combined with 
the fact that Geoffrey occupied the same position. See p. 354, and Addenda. 

^ "Post cujus [i.e. Galfridi] mortem reliquit filium suum hgeredem, cui 
firmitas turris Londoniarum custodienda committipar. Nobili cum Rege 


by Ordericus Yitalis, who distinctly mentions that the 
Tower was in charge of William de Mandeville when 
Kandulf Flambard was there imprisoned in 1101.^ This 
may help to explain an otherwise puzzling fact, namely, 
that a Geoffrey de Mandeville, who was presumably his 
father, appears as a witness to charters of a date subse- 
quent to this.^ 

Geoffrey de Mandeville founded the Benedictine priory 
of Hurley,^ and we know the names of his two wives, 
Athelais and Leceline. By the former he had a son and 
heir, William, mentioned above, who in turn was the father 
of Geoffrey, the central figure of this work.* 

The above descent is not based upon the evidence of 
the Mo?iasticon alone, but is incidentally recited in those 

raagnifice plura gessit patri nou immerito in rebus agendis cosBqualis" 
(Monasticon). Dugdale's error, as we might expect, is followed by later 
writers, Mr. Clark treating Geoffrey as the first "hereditary constable," and 
his sou, whom with characteristic inaccuracy he transforms from " William " 
into " Walter," as the second {Medixval Military Architecture, ii. 253, 254). 
The French editors of Ordericus (iv. 108) strangely imagined that William 
was brother, not son, of Geoffrey de Mandeville. 

^ "In arce Lundoniensi Guillelmode Magna villa custodiendus in vinculis 
traditusest" (iv. 108). 

^ See for instance Abingdon Cartulary, ii. 73, 85, 116, where he attests 
charters of ciVc. 1110-1112. 

' Monasticon, iii. 433. He founds the priory "pro anima Athelaisse 
primsB uxoris meae, matris filiorum meorura jam def unctse ; " and " Lecelina 
domina uxor mea " is a witness to the charter. 

* It is necessary to check by authentic charters and other trustworthy 
evidence the chronicles printed in the Monasticon under W^alden Abbey. 
One of these was taken from a long and interesting MS., formerly in the 
possession of the Royal Society, but now among the Arundel MSS. in the 
British Museum. This, which is only partially printed, and which ought to 
be published in its entirety, has the commencement wanting, and is, 
unfortunately, very inaccurate for the early period of which I treat. It is 
this narrative which makes the wild misstatements as to the circumstances of 
the foundation, which grossly misdates Geoffrey's death, etc., etc. All its 
statements are accepted by Dugdale. The other chronicle, which he printed 
from Cott. MS., Titus, D. 20, is far more accurate, gives Geoffrey's death cor- 
rectly, and rightly assigns him as wife the sister (not the daughter) of the 
Earl of Oxford, thus correcting Dugdale's error. It is the latter chronicle 
which Dugdale has misquoted with reference to the charge of the Tower. 


royal charters on which my story is so largely based. 
It is therefore beyond dispute. But though there is no 
pedigree of the period clearer or better established, it has 
formed the subject of an amazing blunder, so gross as to 
be scarcely credible. Madox had shown, in his History of 
the Exchequer (ii. 400), that Geoffrey '' Fitz Piers " (Earl of 
Essex from 1199 to 1213) was Sheriff of Essex and Herts in 
1192-94 (4 & 5 Kic. I.). Now Geoffrey, the son of Geoffrey 
''Fitz Piers," assuming the surname of *'De Mandeville," 
became his successor in the earldom of Essex, which he 
held from 1213 to 1216. The noble and learned authors 
of the Lords' Reports on the Dignity of a Peer began by 
confusing this Geoffrey with his namesake the earl of 1141, 
and bodily transferring to the latter the whole parentage 
of the former. Thus they evolved the startling discovery 
that the father of our Geoffrey, the earl of 1141, *'was 
Geoffrey Fitz Peter [i.e. the earl of 1199-1213], and pro- 
bably was son of Peter, the sheriff at the time of the 
Survey," ^ But not content even with this, they transferred 
the shrievalty of Geoffrey *'Fitz Piers" from 1192-94 (vide 
supra) ^ to a date earlier than the grant to Geoffrey de 
Mandeville (his supposed son) in 1141. Now, during that 
shrievalty the Earls " of Clare " enjoyed the tertius denarius 
of the county of Hertford. Thus their lordships were 
enabled to produce the further discovery that the Earls 
** of Clare " enjoyed it before the date of this grant (1141), 
that is to say, '* either before or early in the reign of 
King Stephen." ^ The authority of these Keports has 

* Who was really Peter de Valognes. 

^ "Madox . . . has shown . . . that Geoffrey Fitzpeter, Earl of Essex, 
obtained from the Crown Grants of the shrievalty of the Counties of Essex 
and Hertford when the Earls, commonly called Earls of Clare, were Earls of 
Hertford, and had the Third Penny of the Pleas of that County" (iii. 69, 
ed. 1829). 

' " The County of Hertford appears to have been, at the time of the 
Survey, in the King's hands, and Peter was then Sheriff; and the Sheriffwick 


been so widely recognized that we cannot wonder at 
Courtbope stating in bis Historic Peerage of England 
(p. 248) that '' Eicbard de Clare . . . was Earl of Hert- 
ford, and possessed of tbe tbird penny of tbat county, 
before or early in tbe reign of King Stepben." Courtbope 
has in turn misled Dr. Stubbs,^ and Mr. Doyle bas now 
followed suit, stating tbat Eicbard de Clare was ''created 
Earl of Hertford (about) 1136." ^ It is therefore something 
to have traced this error to its original source in the 
Lords' Reports, 

The first mention, it would seem, of the subject of this 
study is to be found in the Pipe-Eoll of 1130, where we 
read — 

"Gaufridus de Mandeville reddit compotuin de Dccclxvj7i. et xiiis. et 
iiijc?. pro terra patris sui. In thesauro cxxxiii/?'. et vis. et yiiid. 
" Et debet Dec et xxxiij?«. et vjs. et Tiijc?." (p. 55). 

As he had thus, at Michaelmas, 1130, paid only two- 
thirteenths of tbe amount due from him for succession, 
that is tbe (arbitrary) " relief " to the Crown, we may infer 
that his father was but lately dead. He does not again 
meet us till be appears at Stephen's court early in 113G.^ 
From the date of that appearance we pass to his creation 
as an earl by tbe first of those royal charters with which 
we are so largely concerned.* 

of Hertfordshire was afterwards granted in Fee, by the Empress Maud, to 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, at a rent as his father and grand- 
father had held it. The father of Geoffrey was Geoffrey Fitz Peter, and 
probably was sou of Peter, the Sheriff at the time of the Survey. The first 
trace which the Committee has discovered of the title of the Earls of Clare 
to the Third Penny of the County is in the reign of Henry the Second, 
subsequent to the grants under which the Earls of Essex claimed the 
Shrievalty in fee, at a fee-farm rent. But the grant of the Third Penny must 
have been of an earlier date, as the grant to the Earl of Essex was subject 
to that charge. The family of Clare must therefore have had the Third 
Penny either before or early in the Reign of King Stephen" (iii. 125). 

' Const. Hist, i. 362. 2 official Baronage, ii. 175. 

• See Appendix C. * See Frontispiece. 


The date of tbis charter is a point of no small interest, 
not merely because we have in it the only surviving charter 
of creation of those issued by Stephen, but also because 
there is reason to believe that it is the oldest extant charter 
of creation known to English antiquaries. That distinc- 
tion has indeed been claimed for the second charter in 
my series, namely, that which Geoffrey obtained from the 
Empress Maud. It is of the latter that Camden wrote, 
*' This is the most ancient creation-charter that I ever 
saw." ^ Selden duly followed suit, and Dugdale echoed 
Selden's words. ^ Courthope merely observes that it "is 
presumed to be one of the very earliest charters of express 
creation of the title of earl; " ^ and Mr. Birch pronounces 
it " one of the earliest, if not the earliest, example of a 
deed creating a peerage." ^ In despite, however, of these 
opinions I am prepared to prove that the charter with 
which we are now dealing is entitled to the first place, 
though that of the Empress comes next. 

We cannot begin an investigation of the subject better 
than by seeking the opinion of Mr. Eyton, who was a 
specialist in the matter of charters and their dates, and 
who had evidently investigated the point. His note on 
this charter is as follows : — 

" Stephen's earlier deeds of 1136 exhibit Geoffrey de Magnaville as 
a baron only. There are three such, two of which certainly, and the 
third probably, passed at Westminster. lie was custos of the Tower 
of London, an office which probably necessitated a constant residence. 
There are three patents of creation extant by which he became Earl of 
Essex. Those which I suppose to precede this were by the Empress. 
The first of them passed in the short period during which Maud was 
in London, i.e. between June 24 and July 25, 1141. The second within 
a month after, at Oxford. In the latter she alludes to grants of lands 
previously made by Stephen to the said Geoffrey, but to no patent of 

^ Degrees of England. 

' " Note that this is the most ancient creation-charter which hath ever 
been known." Vide Selden, Titles of Honour, p. 647. 

' Historic Peerage, p. 178. * Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxi. 88G. 


earldom except her own. Selden calls Maud's London patent tlie 
oldest on record. It is not perhaps that, but it is older than ihis, 
though Dugdale thought not. Having decided that Stephen's patent 
succeeded Maud's, it follows that it (viz. this charter) passed after 
Nov. 1, 1141, when Stephen regained his liberty and Geoffrey probably 
forsook the empress. The king was at London on Dec. 7. In 1142 we 
are told (Lysons, Carrib., 9) that this Geoffrey and Earl Gilbert were 
sent by Stephen against the Isle of Ely. He is called earl. We shall 
also have him attesting a charter of Qaeen Matilda (Stephen's wife). 

" In 1143 he was seized in Stephen's court at St. Alban's. 

"In 1144 he is in high rebellion against Stephen, and an ally of 
Nigel, Bishop of Ely. He is killed in Aug., 1144. 

" On the whole then it would apj^ear that the Empress first made 
him an earl as a means of securing London, the stronghold of Stephen's 
party, but that, on Stephen's release, the earl changed sides and Stephen 
opposed Maud's policy by a counter-patent (we have usually found 
counter-charters, however, to be Maud's). We have also a high proba- 
bility that this charter passed in Dec, 1141, or soon after ; for Stephen 
does not appear at London in 1142, when Geoffrey is earl and in 
Stephen's employ." ^ 

Here I must first clear the ground by explaining as to 
the *' three patents of creation " mentioned in this passage, 
that there were only two charters (not '' patents ") of 
creation — that of the king, which survives in the original, 
and that of the Empress, which is known to us from a 
transcript. As to the latter, it certainly "passed in the 
short period during which Maud was in London," but 
that period, so far from being " between June 24 and July 
25, 1141," consisted only of a few days ending with " June 
24, 1141." The main point, however, at issue is the 
priority of the creation-charters. It will be seen that 
Mr. Ej^ton jumped at his conclusion, and then proceeded: 
''Having decided," etc. This is the more surprising 
because that conclusion was at variance with what he 
admits to have been his own principle, namely, that he 
had ''usually found counter-charters to be Maud's."^ In 

1 Addl. MSS., 31,943, fol. 97. 

'^ Comp. fol. 96: "My position is that where this system of counter- 


this case his conclusion was wrong, and his original 
principle was right. I think that Mr. Eyton's error was 
due to his ignorance of the second charter granted by the 
king to Geoffrey.^ As he was well acquainted with the 
royal charters in the duchy of Lancaster collection it is 
not easy to understand how he came to overlook this very 
long one, which is, as it were, the keystone to the arch I 
am about to construct. 

It is my object to make Geoffrey's charters prove their 
own sequence. When once arranged in their right order, 
it will be clear from their contents that this order is., the 
only one possible. We must not attempt to decide their 
dates till we have determined their order. But when that 
order has been firmly established, we can approach the 
question of dates with comparative ease and confidence. 

To determine from internal evidence the sequence of 
these charters, we must arrange them in an ascending 
scale. That is to say, each charter should represent an 
advance on its immediate predecessor. Tried by this test, 
our four main charters will assume, beyond dispute, this 
relative order. 

(1) First charter of the king. 

(2) First charter of the Empress. 

(3) Second charter of the king. 

(4) Second charter of the Empress. 

The order of the three last is further established by 
the fact that the grants in the second are specifically con- 
firmed by the third, while the third is expressly referred 
to in the fourth. The only one, therefore, about which 
there could possibly be a question is the first, and the fact 
that the second charter represents a great advance upon it 

charters between Stephen and the Empress ^s proved, the former generally is 
the first in pomt of date.*' 
* See p. 41 ad pedem. 


is in this case the evidence. But there is, further, the fact 
that the place I have assigned it is the only one in the series 
that it can possibly occupy. Nor could Mr. Eyton have 
failed to arrive at this conclusion had he included within 
his sphere of view the second charter of the king. 

It is clear that Mr. Eyton was here working from 
the statements of Dugdale alone. For the three charters 
he deals with are those which Dugdale gives. The order 
assigned to these charters by Dugdale and Mr. Eyton 
respectively can be thus briefly shown : — 

Eight order ... ... 1 2 3 4 

Ey ton's order ... ... 2 4 1 

Dugdale's order ... ... 1 42 

How gravely Mr. Eyton erred in his conclusions will be 
obvious from this table. But it is necessary to go further 
still, and to say that of the seven charters affecting 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, three would seem to have been 
unknown to him, while of the rest, he assigned three, one 
might almost say all four, to a demonstrably erroneous 
date. It may be urged that this is harsh criticism, and 
the more so as its subject was never published, and exists 
only in the form of notes. There is much to be said for 
this view, but the fact remains that rash use is certain to 
be made of these notes, unless students are placed on their 
guard. That this should be so is due not only to Mr. 
Eyton's great and just reputation as a laborious student 
in this field, but also to the exaggerated estimate of the 
value and correctness of these notes which was set, some- 
what prominently, before the public.^ 

Advancing from the question of position to that of 
actual date, we will glance at the opinion of another expert, 
Mr. Walter de Gray Birch. We learn from him, as to the 
date of this first creation-charter, that — 

* Holes and Queries, 6th Series, v. 83. 


" The dates of the witnesses appear to range between a.d. 1139 and 
A.D. 1144. . . . The actual date of the circumstances mentioned in this 
document is a matter of question. ... He [Geoffrey] was slain on the 
14th of September, a.d. 1144, and therefore this document must be 
prior to that date." * 

We see now that it is by no means easy to date this 
charter with exactness. It will be best, in pursuance of 
my usual practice, to begin by clearing the ground. 

If we could place any trust in the copious chronicle of 
Walden Abbey, which is printed (in part) in the Monasticon 
from the Arundel manuscript, our task would be easy 
enough. For we are there told that Stephen had already 
created Geoffrey an earl when, in 1136, he founded Walden 
Abbey.^ And, in his foundation charter, he certainly 
styles himself an earl.^ But, alas for this precious narra- 
tive, it brings together at the ceremony three bishops, 
Robert of London, Nigel of Ely, and William of Norwich, 
of whom Robert of London was not appointed till 1141, 
while William of Norwich did not obtain that see till 

Dismissing, therefore, this evidence, we turn to the 
fact that no creation of an earldom by Stephen is men- 
tioned before 1138. But we have something far more 
important than this in the occurrence at the head of the 
witnesses to this creation-charter, of the name of William 
of Ypres, the only name, indeed, among the witnesses that 
strikes one as a note of time. Mr. Eyton wrote: **A 
deed which I have dated 1140 ... is his first known 
attestation."^ I have found no evidence contrary to this 
conclusion. It would seem probable that when the arrest 
of the bishops *'gave," in Dr. Stubbs' words, **the signal 

* On the Great Seal of King Stephen^ pp. 19, 20. 

' " Apud regem Stephanum, ac totius regni majores tanti erat ut nomine 
comitis et re jampridem dignus haberetur" {M071. Angl., vol. iv. p. 141). 
' "Gaufridus de Magnavilla comes Essexe" (ibid.). 

* Addl. MSS. 31,943, fol. 85 dors. 


for the civil war," Stephen's preparations for the 
approaching struggle would include the summons to his 
side of this experienced leader, who had hitherto been 
fighting in Normandy for his cause. Indeed, we know 
that it was so, for he was at once despatched against the 
castle of Devizes.^ 

Happily, however, there remains a writ, which should 
incidentally, we shall find, prove the key to the problem. 
This, which is printed among the foot-notes in Madox's 
Baronia Anglica (p. 231), from the muniments of West- 
minster Abbey, is addressed '* Gaufrido de Magnavilla " 
simply, and is, therefore, previous to his elevation to the 
earldom. Now, as this writ refers to the death of Roger, 
Bishop of Salisbury, it must be later than the 11th of 
December, 1139.^ Consequently Geoffrey's charter must be 
subsequent to that date. It must also be previous to the 
battle of Lincoln (February, 1141), because, as I observed at 
the outset, it must be previous to the charter of the Empress. 
We therefore virtually narrow its limit to the year 1140, 
for Stephen had set out for Lincoln before the close of the 
year.^ Let us try and reduce it further still. What was 
the date of the above writ ? Stephen, on the death of 
Bishop Eoger, hastened to visit Salisbury.* He went there 
from Oxford to spend Christmas (1139), and then returned 
to Reading {Cont. Flor. Wig.). Going and retm-ning he 

^ Ordericus Vitalis, vol. v. p. 120. * See p. 282, n. 4. 

' " Protractaque est obsidio [Lincolnie] a diebus Natalis Domini [1140] 
usque ad Ypapanti Domini " ( Will. Newhurgh, i. 39). 

* To this visit may be assigned three charters (Sarum Charters and 
Docmnents, pp. 9-11) of interest for their witnesses. Two of them are attested 
by Philip the chancellor, who is immediately followed by Roger de Fe'camp. 
The latter had similarly followed the preceding chancellor, Roger, in one 
of Stephen's charters of 1136 (see p. 263), which establishes his official 
position. Among the other witnesses were Bishop Robert of Hereford, 
Count Waleran of Meulan, Robert de Yer, William Martel, Robert d'Oilli 
with Fulk his brother, Turgis d'Avranches, Walter de Salisbury, Ingelram 
de Say, and William de Pont de I'Arche. 


would have passed through Andover, the place at which 
this writ is tested. Thus it could have been, and probably 
was, issued at this period (December, 1139). Obviously, 
if it was issued in the course of 1140, this would reduce 
still further the possible limit within which Geoffrey's 
charter can have passed. Difficult though it is to trace 
the incessant movements of the king throughout this 
troubled year, he certainly visited Winchester, and (pro- 
bably thence) Malmesbury. Still we have not, I believe, 
proof of his presence at Andover.^ And there are other 
grounds, I shall now show, for thinking that the earldom 
was conferred before March, 1140. 

William of Newburgh, speaking of the arrest of Geoffrey 
de Mandeville, assures us that Stephen bore an old grudge 
against him, which he had hitherto been forced to conceal. 
Its cause was a gross outrage by Geoffrey, who, on the 
arrival of Constance of France, the bride of Eustace the 
heir-apparent, had forcibly detained her in the Tower.^ 
We fix the date of this event as February or March, 1140, 

^ The " P. cancellarius," by whom the writ is tested, was a chaucellor of 
whom, according to Foss, virtually nothing is known. He was, however, 
Philip (de Harcourt), on whom the king conferred at Winchester, in 1140, 
the vacant see of Salisbury (" Kex Wintoniam veniens consilio baronum 
suorum cancellario suo Philippo Searebyriensem prsesulatum . . . dedit" 
(Cont. Flor. Wig.). But the chapter refused to accept him as bishop, and 
eventually he was provided for by the see of Bayeux. He is likely, with or 
without the king, to have gone straight to Salisbury after his appointment 
at Winchester, in which case he would not have been present at Andover, 
even if Stephen himself was. 

^ " Acceptam ab eo injuriam rex caute dissimulabat, et tempus opportunum 
quo se ulcisceretur, observabat. Injuria vero quam regi nequam ille intulerat 
talis erat. Kex ante annos aliquot episcopi, ut dictum est, Salesbiriensis 
thesauros adeptus, summa non modica regi Francorum Lodovico transmissa, 
sororem ejus Constantiam Eustachio filio suo desponderat ; . . . eratque hssc 
cum socru sua regiua Lundoniis. Cumque regina ad alium forte vellet cum 
eadem nuru sua locum migrare, memoratus Gaufridus arci tunc prsesidens, 
restitit ; nuruque de manibus socrus, pro viribus obnitentis, abstracta atque 
retenta, illam cum ignominia abire permisit. Postea vero reposcenti, et justum 
motum pro tempore dissimulanti, regi socero insignem prsedam segre resig- 
navit " (ii. 45). 


from the words of the Continuator of Florence,^ and that 
date agrees well with Henry of Huntingdon's statement, 
that Stephen had bought his son's bride with the treasure 
he obtained by the death of the great Bishop of Salisbury 
(December 11, 1139).2 

It would seem, of course, highly improbable that this 
audacious insult to the royal family would have been 
followed by the grant of an earldom. We might con- 
sequently infer that, in all likelihood, Geoffrey had already 
obtained his earldom. 

We have, however, to examine the movements of 
Stephen at the time. The king returned, as we saw, to 
Eeading, after spending his Christmas at Salisbury. He 
was then summoned to the Fen country by the revolt of 
the Bishop of Ely, and he set out thither, says Henry of 
Huntingdon, ''post Natale " (p. 267). He may have taken 
Westminster on his way, but there is no evidence that he 
did. He had, however, returned to London by the middle 
of March, to take part in a Mid-Lent council.^ His move- 
ments now become more difficult to trace than ever, but 
it may have been after this that he marched on Hereford 
and Worcester.* Our next glimpse of him is at "Wliitsun- 
tide (May 26), when he kept the festival in sorry state at 
the Tower.^ It has been suggested that it was for security 

^ (1140) "Facta est desponsatio illorum mense Februario in transmarinis 
partibus, matre regiua Anglorum prsesente " (ii. 725). 

2 "Accipiens thesauros episcopi comparavit iude Constantiam sororem 
Lodovici regis Francorum ad opus Eustachii filii sui " (p. 265). It is amusing 
to learn from his champion (the author of the Ge?,ta Stephani) that the king 
spent this treasure on good and pious works. This matrimonial alliance is 
deserving of careful attention, for the fact that Stephen was prepared to buy 
it with treasure which he sorely needed proves its importance in his eyes as 
a prop to his now threatened throne. 

^ Annah of Waverley {Ann. Mon., ii. 228), where it is stated that, at this 
council, Stephen gave the see of Salisbury to his chancellor, Philip. Accord- 
ing, however, to the Continuator of Florence, he did this not at London, but 
at Winchester (see p. 47, supra). 

* See the Continuator of Florence. * Will Malms. 


that be sought the shelter of its walls. But this explana- 
tion is disposed of by the fact that the citizens of London 
were his best friends and proved, the year after, the virtual 
salvation of his cause. It would seem more likely that be 
was anxious to reassert his impaired authority and to 
destroy the effect of Geoffrey's outrage, which might other- 
wise have been ruinous to his prestige} 

It was, as I read it, at the close of Whitsuntide, that 
is, about the beginning of June, that the king set forth for 
East Anglia, and, attacking Hugh Bigod, took his castle of 

In August the king again set forth to attack Hugh 
Bigod ; ^ and either to this, or to his preceding East 
Anglian campaign, we may safely assign bis charter, 
granted at Norwich, to the Abbey of Beading.^ Now, the 
first witness to this charter is Geoffrey de Mandeville him- 
self, who is not styled an earl. We learn, then, that, at 
least as late as June, 1140, Geoffrey had not received bis 
earldom. This would limit the date of bis creation to 
June — December, 1140, or virtually, at the outside, a period 
of six months. 

Such, then, is the ultimate conclusion to which our 
inquiry leads us. And if it be asked why Stephen should 
confer an earldom on Geoffrey at this particular time, 
the reply is at hand in the condition of affairs, which had 
now become sufficiently critical for Geoffrey to begin the 
game be bad made up his mind to play. For Stephen 

* See p. 81 as to the alleged riot in London and death of Aubrey de 
Vere, three weeks before. 

2 " Ad Pentecostem ivit rex cum exercitu suo super Hugonem Bigod in 
Sudfolc" Ann. Wav. (Ann. Mon., ii. 228). 

^ " Item in Augusto perrexit super eum et concordati sunt, sed non diu 
duravit" (ibid.). 

♦ Printed in ArcliasologicalJournal, xx. 291. Its second witness is Richard 
de Luci, whom I have not elsewhere found attesting before Christmas, 1141. 



could not "with prudence refuse his demand for an 

The first corollary of this conclusion is that **the 
second type " of Stephen's great seal (which is that 
appended to this charter) must have been already in use 
in the year 1140, that is to say, before his fall in 1141. 

Mr. Birch, who, I need hardly say, is the recognized 
authority on the subject, has devoted one of his learned 
essays on the Great Seals of the Kings of England to those 
of Stephen.^ He has appended to it photographs of the 
two types in use under this sovereign, and has given 
the text of nineteen original sealed charters, which he has 
divided into two classes according to the types of their 
seals. The conclusion at which he arrived as the result 
of this classification was that the existence of '^ two dis- 
tinctly variant types " is proved (all traces of a third, if 
it ever existed, being now lost), one of which represents the 
earlier, and the other the later, portion of the reign. ^ To 
the former belong nine, and to the latter ten of the charters 
which he quotes in his paper. The only point on which a 
question can arise is the date at which the earlier was re- 
placed by the later type. Mr. Birch is of opinion that — 

" the consideration of the second seal tends to indicate the alteration 
of the type subsequent to his liberation from the hands of the Empress, 

^ If, as would seem, Hugh Bigod appears first as an eafl at the battle 
of Lincoln, when he fought on Stephen's side, it may well be that tlie 
" Concordia " between them in August, 1140, similarly comprised the con- 
cession by the king of comital rank. On the other hand, there is a note- 
worthy charter {Harl. Cart., 43, c. 13) of Stephen, which seems to belong to 
the winter of 1140-1, to which Hugh Bigod is witness, not as an earl, so 
that his creation may have taken place very shortly before Stephen's fall. 
As this charter, according to Mr. Birch, has the second type of Stephen's 
seal, it strengthens the view advanced in the text. 

^ Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, vol. xi., New Series. 

' Mr. Birch points out the interesting fact that while the earlier type 
has an affinity to that of the great seal of Henry I., the later approximates 
to that adopted under Henry II. 


and it is most natural to suppose that this alteration is owing to the 
destruction or loss of his seal consequent to his own capture and 
incarceration " (p. 15). 

There can be no doubt that this is the most natural 
suggestion ; but if, as I contend, the very first two of the 
charters adduced by Mr. Birch as specimens of the later 
type are previous to '* his capture and incarceration," it 
follows that his later great seal must have been adopted 
before that event. One of these charters is that which 
forms the subject of this chapter ; the other is pre- 
served among the records of the duchy of Lancaster.^ 
At the date when the latter was granted, the king was 
in possession of the temporalities of the see of Lincoln, 
which he had seized on the arrest of the bishops in 
June, 1139. As Alexander had regained possession of 
his see by the time of the battle of Lincoln, this charter 
must have passed before Stephen's capturfe, and most 
probably passed a year or more before. We have then 
to account for the adoption by Stephen of a new great 
seal, certainly before 1141, and possibly as early as 1139. 
Is it not possible that this event may be connected with the 
arrest of the chancellor and his mighty kinsmen in June, 
1139, and that the seal may have been made away with in 
his and their interest, as on the flight of James XL, in order 
to increase the confusion consequent on that arrest ? ^ 

And now we come to Geoffrey's charter itself ^ : — 

" S. Kex Ang[lorum] Archiepiscopis Episcopis Abba- 
tibus Comitibus Justiciis Baronibus Vicecomitibus et 
Omnibus Ministris et fidelibus suis francis et Anglis 
totius AnglisB salutem. Sciatis me fecisse Comitem de 

' Boyal Charters^ No. 15. See my Ancient CJiarters, p. 89. 
* Dr. Stubbs observes that the consequence of the arrest was that " the 
whole administration of the country ceased to work " (Const. Eist, i. 326). 
^ Cotton Charter, vii. 4. See Frontispiece. 


Gaufr[ido] de Magnauilla de Comitatu Essex[e] lieredi- 
tarie. Quare uolo et concede et firmiter precipio quod 
ipse et heredes sui post eum hereditario jure teneant de 
me et de beredibus meis bene et in pace et libere et quiete 
et bonorifice sicut alii Comites mei de terra mea melius vel 
liberius vel bonorificentius tenent Comitatus suos unde 
Comites sunt cum omnibus dignitatibus et libertatibus et 
consuetudinibus cum quibus alii Comites mei prefati 
dignius vel liberius tenent. 

*' T[estibus] Will[elm]o de Ipra et Henr[ico] de Essexa ^ 
et Job[ann]e fil[io] Eob[erti] m[ii] Walt[eri] ^ et Rob[erto] 
de Nouo burgo ^ et Mainfen[ino] Briton ^ et Turg[esio] de 
Abrinc[is]5 et Will[elm]o de S[an]c[t]o Claro ^ et Wil- 

^ This is the well-known Henry de Essex (see Appendix U), son of 
Robert {B,ot. Pip.., 31 Hen. I.), and grandson of Swegen of Essex (Domes- 
day). He witnessed several of Stephen's charters, probably later in the reign, 
but was also a witness to the Empress's charters to the Earls of Oxford and 
of Essex (vide post). 

^ A John, son of Eobert fitz Walter (sheriff of East Anglia, temp. 
Hen. I.), occurs in Bamsey Cartulary, i. 149. 

' Eobert de Xeufbourg, said to have been a younger son of Henry, Earl 
of Warwick, occurs in connection with Warwickshire in 1130 (Eot. Pip., 31 
Hen. I.). Mr. Yeatman characteristically advances " the idea that Robert de 
Arundel and Robert de Xovoburgo were identical." He was afterwards 
Justiciary of Normandy (Ord. Vit.), having sided with Geoffrey of Anjou 
{Rot. Scacc. Norm.). He is mentioned in the Pipe-Rolls of 2 and 4 Henry 
II. According to Dugdale, he died (on the authority of the Clironico'n Nov' 
mannise), in August, 1158, a date followed by Mr. Yeatman. Mr. Eyton, 
liowever (Court and Itinerary, p. 47), on the same authority (with a reference 
also to Gervase, which I cannot verify) makes him die in August, 1159. The 
true date seems to have been August 30, 1159, when he died at Bee (Robert 
de Torigni). 

* Tlie Maenfiniuus Brito(Mr. Birch reads "Mamseu"), who, in the 
Pipe-Roll of 1130 (p. 100), was late sheriff of Bucks, and Beds. Probably 
father of Hamo filius Meinfelini, the Bucks, baron of 1166 (Cartx). See 
also p. 201, 11. 2. 

^ Turgis d'Avranches appears in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I. as having 
married the widow of Hugh " de Albertivilla." We shall find him witness- 
ing Stephen's second charter to the earl (Christmas, 1141). 

^ William de St. Clare occurs in Dorset and Huntingdonshire in 1130 
(Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I.). He was, I presume, of the same family as Hamon 
de St. Clare, custos of Colchester in 1130 (ibid.), who was among the wit- 
nesses to Stephen's Charter of Liberties (Oxford) in 1136. 


l[elmJo de Dammart[in] ^ et Eic[ardo] fil[io] Ursi^ et Wil- 
l[elm]o de Auco ^ et Eic[ardo] fil[io] Osb[erti] ^ et Radulfo 
de Wiret^ {sic) et Eglin[o] ^ et Will[elm]o fil[io] Alur[edi] "^ 
et Will[elmo] filio Ernald[i].^ Apud Westmonasterium." 

Taking this, as I believe it to be, as our earliest charter 
of creation extant or even known, the chief point to attract 
our notice is its intensely hereditary character. Geoffrey 
receives the earldom *' hereditarie," for himself *' et 
heredes sui post eum hereditario jure." The terms in 
which the grant is made are of tantalizing vagueness ; 
and, compared with the charters by which it was followed, 
this is remarkable for its brevity, and for the total omission 
of those accompanying concessions which the statements 
of our historians would lead us to expect without fail.^ 

' Odo de Dammartin states in his Carta (1166) that he held one fee (in 
Norfolk) of the king, of which he had enf jofifed, temp. Hen. I., his brother, 
William de Dammartin. 

^ Kichard fitz Urse is of special interest as the father (see Liber Niger) of 
Reginald fitz Urse, one of Becket's murderers. He occurs repeatedly in the 
Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I. After this charter he reappears at the battle of 
Lincoln (Feb. 2, 1141) : — " Capitur etiam Ricardus filius Ursi, qui in ictibus 
dandis recipiendisque clarus et gloriosus compnruit " {Hen. Hunt., p. 274). 
For his marriage to Sybil, daughter of Baldwin de Boilers by Sybil de Falaise 
(neptis of Henry I.), see Eyton's Shropshire, xi. 127, and Genealogist, N.S., iii. 
195. One would welcome information on his connection, if any, with the 
terrible sheriff, Urse d'Abetot, and his impetuous son ; but I know of none. 

* William de Eu appears as a tenant of four knights' fees de veteri feoffa- 
mento imder Mandeville in the Liber Niger. 

* Richard fitz Osberfc similarly figures (Liber Niger) as a tenant of four 
knights' fees de veteri feoff amento. He also held a knight's fee of the Bishop 
of Ely in Cambridgeshire. An Osbert fitz Richard, probably his son, attests 
a charter of Geoffrey's son. Earl William, to Walden Abbey. 

* A Ralph de Worcester occurs in the Cartse and elsewhere under Henry II. 

* " Eglino," an unusual name, probably represents " Egelino de Furnis," 
who attests a charter of Stephen at Eye {Formularium Anglicanum, p. 154). 

^ William fitz Alfred held one fee of Mandeville de novo feoffamento. 
He also attests the earl's foundation charter of Walden Abbey (Mon. Ang., 
iv. 149). A William fitz Alfred occurs, also, in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I. 

^ William fitz Ernald similarly held one knight's fee de novo feoff amento . 
He also attests the above foundation charter just after William fitz Alfred. 

* See Appendix D, on " Fiscal Earls." 


We must now pass from the grant of this charter to 
the great day of Lincoln (February 2, 1141), where the for- 
tunes of England and her king were changed *'in the 
twinkling of an eye " by the wild charge of "the Dis- 
inherited," as they rode for death or victory.^ 

* "Acies exhseredatorum, quee prgeibat, percussit aciem regalem . . . 
tanto impetu, quod statim, quasi in iotu oculi, dissipata est. 

( 55 ) 



At the time of this sudden and decisive triumph, the 
Empress had been in England some sixteen months. With 
the Earl of Gloucester, she had landed at Arundel,^ on 
September 30, 1139,^ and while her brother, escorted by 
a few knights, made his way to his stronghold at Bristol, 
had herself, attended by her Angevin suite, sought shelter 
with her step-mother, the late queen, in the famous castle 
of Arundel. Stephen had promptly appeared before its 
walls, but, either deeming the fortress impregnable or 
being misled by treacherous counsel,^ had not only raised 
his blockade of the castle, but had allowed the Empress to 
set out for Bristol, and had given her for escort his brother 
the legate, and his trusted supporter the Count of Meulan.* 
From the legate her brother had received her at a spot 
appointed beforehand, and had then returned with her to 
Bristol. Here she was promptly visited by the constable, 
Miles of Gloucester, who at once acknowledged her claims 
as " the rightful heir " of England.^ Escorted by him, she 
removed to Gloucester, of which he was hereditary cas- 

* Will. Malms., p. 724 ; Gesfa Stephani, p. 56. 

* Will. Malms., p. 724. See Appendix E. 

^ Such are the alternatives presented by Henry of Huntingdon (p. 266). 
The treacherous counsel alluded to was that of his brother the legate (Gesta 
Stephani, p. 57). According to John of Hexham (Sym. Dun. ii. 302), Stephen 
acted " ex indiscreta animi simplictate." 

* Will. Malms., p. 725. 

* See Appendix F : " The Defection of Miles of Gloucester." 


tellan, and received the submission of that city, and of 

all the country round about. ^ The statements of the 

chroniclers can here be checked, and are happily confirmed 

and amplified by a charter of the Empress, apparently 

unknown, but of great historical interest. The following 

abstract is given in a transcript taken from the lost volume 

of the Great Coucher of the duchy ^ : — 

"Carta Matilde Imperatricis in qua dicit, quod^ quando in 
Angliam venit post mortem H. patris sui * Milo de Gloecestra quam 
citius potuit Yenit ad se ^ apud Bristolliam et recepit me nt dominam 
et sicnt illam quam justum liaeredem regni Angliae recognovit, et 
inde me secum ad Gloecestram adduxit et ibi homagium suum mihi 
fecit ligie contra omnes homines. Et Yolo vos scire quod tunc quando 
homagium suum apud Gloecestram recepit, dedi ei pro servicio suo in 
feodo et hereditate sibi et heredibus suis castellum de Sancto Bria- 
vel(li) et totam forestam de Dene/' ^ etc., etc. 

It was at Gloucester that she received the news of her 
brother's victory at Lincoln (February 2, 1141), and it was 
there that he joined her, with his royal captive, on Quin- 
quagesima Sunday (February 9).'^ It was at once decided 
that the king should be despatched to Bristol Castle,^ and 
that he should be there kept a prisoner for life.^ 

In the utter paralysis of government consequent on the 
king's capture, there was not a day to be lost on the part 
of the Empress and her friends. The Empress herself was 

^ TF27Z. 3ra7ms., p. 725 ; Conf. FZor., p. 118. Here the Continuator's chro- 
nology is irreconcilable with that of our other authorities. He states that the 
Empress removed to Gloucester on October 15, after a stay of two months 
at Bristol. This is, of course, consistent, it should be noticed, with the 
date (August 1) assigned by him for her landing. 

2 The text is taken from the transcript in Lansdowne MS. 229, fol. 123, 
collated with Dugdale's transcript in his MSS. at the Bodleian Library 
(L. 21). It will be seen that Dugdale transcribed verbatim, while the 
other transcript begins in narratio ohliqua. 

3 " Sciatis quod " (D.)- * " Mei" (D.). ' " Me " (D.). 

® These were specially excepted from the grants of royal demesne made 
by Henry II. to his son, the second earl. 

7 Cont. Flor., p. 129 ; Will. BTalms., p. 742 ; Gesta, p. 72. 

« Jbid. ; John Hex., p. 808 ; /Jen. Hunt., p. 275. » Gesta, p. 72. 


intoxicated with joy, and eager for the fruits of victory.^ 
Within a fortnight of the battle, she set out from 
Gloucester, on what may be termed her first progress.^ 
Her destination was, of course, Winchester, the spot to 
which her eyes would at once be turned. She halted, 
however, for a while at Cirencester,^ to allow time for 
completing the negotiations with the legate.* It was 
finally agreed that, advancing to Winchester, she should 
meet him in an open space, without the walls, for a con- 
ference. This spot a charter of the Empress enables us 
apparently to identify with Wherwell.^ Hither, on Sunday, 
the 2nd of March, a wet and gloomy day,^ the clergy and 
people, headed by the legate, with the monks and nuns of 
the religious houses, and such magnates of the realm as 
were present, streamed forth from the city to meet her.'' 

The compact (" pactum ") which followed was strictly 
on the lines of that by means of which Stephen had 
secured the throne. The Empress, on her part, swore that 
if the legate would accept her as ^' domina," he should 
henceforth have his way in all ecclesiastical matters. And 
her leading followers swore that this oath should be kept. 
Thereupon the legate agreed to receive her as " Lady of 

' " Ob illiusmodi eventum vehementer exhilirata, utpote regnum sibi jura- 
tum, sicut sibi videbatur, jam adepta " (Cont. Flor., p. 130). 
2 Cmt. Flor., 130. 
^ " Siraul et ejusdem civitatis suraens dominium " (ibid.). 

* " Ut ipsam tanquam regis Henrici filiam et cui omnis Anglia et 
Normannia jurata esset, incuiictanter in ecclesiam et regnum reciperet" 
(^Will. Malms., p. 743). Compare the writer's description of the oath 
(1127) that the magnates " imperatricem incunctanter et sine ulla retractione 
dominam susciperent " (p. 690). 

* Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 389. Mr. Howlett asserts that the evidence of 
William of Malmesbury as to the date (2nd and 3rd of March) *' is refuted " 
by this charter, which places them a fortnight earlier (Introduction to 
Gesta Stephani, p. xxii.). But I do not think the evidence of the charter is 
sufficiently strong to overthrow the accepted date. 

« " Pluvioso et nebuloso die " ( Will Malms., p. 743). 
' Cont. Flor., p. 130 ; Will. Malms., p. 743. 


England," and promised her the allegiance of himself and 
of his followers so long as she should keep her oath. The 
whole agreement is most important, and, as such, should 
be carefully studied.^ 

On the morrow (March 3) the Empress entered Win- 
chester, and was received in state in the cathedral, the 
legate supporting her on the right, and Bernard of St. 
David's on the left.^ 

Now, it is most important to have a clear understanding 
of what really took place upon this occasion. 

The main points to keep before us are — (1) that there 
are two distinct episodes, that of the 2nd and 3rd of March, 
and that of the 7th and 8th of April, five weeks inter- 
vening between them, during which the Empress left Win- 
chester to make her second progress ; (2) that the first 
episode was that of her recejJtion at Winchester, the second 
(also at Winchester) that of her election. 

It is, perhaps, not surprising that our historians are 
here in woeful confusion. Dr. Stubbs alone is, as usual, 
right. Writing from the standpoint of a constitutional 
historian, he is only concerned with the election of the 

* "Juravit et affidavit imperatrix episcopo, quod omnia majora negotia 
in Anglia, precipueque donationes episcopatuum et abbatiarum, ejus nutum 
spectarent, si oam ipse in sancta ecclesia in dominam reciperet, et perpetuam 
ei fidelitatem teneret. Idem juraverunt cum ea, et affidaverunt pro ea, 
Robertus fratcr ejus comes de Gloecestra, et Brianus filius comitis marchio 
de Walingeford et Milo de Gloecestra, postea comes de Hereford, et nonnuUi 
alii. Nee dubitavit episcopus imperatricem in dominam Angliae recipere et 
ei cum quibusdam suis aflSdare, quod, quamdiu ipsa pactum non infringeret, 
ipse quoque fidem ei custodiret" (Will. Malms., 743, 744). The parallel 
afforded by the customs of Bigorre, as recorded (it is alleged) in 1097, is so 
striking as to deserve being quoted here. Speaking of the reception of a 
new lord, they provide that " antequam habitatorum terras fidejussores 
accipiat, fide sua secures eos faciat ne extra consuetudines patrias vel eas in 
quibus eos invenerit aliquod educat ; hoc autem sacramento et fide quatuor 
nobiliura terrse faciat confirmari." 

^ " Crastino, quod fuit quinto nonas Martii, honorifica facta processione 
recepta est in ecclesia episcopatus Wintoniss," etc., etc. (ibid.). 


Empress, and to this he assigns its correct date.^ In his 
useful and excellent English History, Mr. Bright, on the 
contrary, ignores the interval, and places the second 
episode " a few days after " the first.^ Professor Pearson, 
whose work is that which is generally used for this period, 
omits altogether the earlier episode.^ Mr. Birch, on the 
other hand, in his historical introduction to his valuable 
fasciculus of the charters of the Empress, ignores altogether 
the later episode, though he goes into this question with 
special care. Indeed, he does more than this; for he 
transfers the election itself from the later to the earlier 
occasion, and assigns to the episode of March 2 and 3 the 
events of April 7 and 8. This cardinal error vitiates. his 
elaborate argument,* and, indeed, makes confusion worse 
confounded. Mr. Freeman, though, of course, in a less 
degree, seems inclined to err in the same direction, when 
he assigns to the earlier of the two episodes that import- 
ance which belongs to the later.^ 

Eightly to apprehend the bearing of this episode, we 
must glance back at the preceding reigns. Dr. Stubbs, 
writing of Stephen's accession, observes that " the example 
which Henry had set in his seizure and retention of the 
crown was followed in every point by his successor." ^ 
But on at least one main point the precedent was older 
than this. The Conqueror, in 1066, and his heir, in 1087, 
had both deemed it their first necessity to obtain posses- 

' Const. Hist, i. 326 (note) ; Early Flantagenets, 22. 

2 English History for the Use of Public Schools, i. 83, The mistake may- 
have arisen from a confusion with the departure of the Empress from Win- 
chester a few days (" paucis post diebus ") after her reception. 

^ History of England during the Early and Middle Ages, i. 478. 

^ Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxi. 377-380. 

* Norm. Conq., v. 303. At the same time it is right to add that this is 
not a question of accuracy, but merely of treatment. In the marginal notes 
the two episodes are respectively assigned to their correct dates. 

« Const. Hist., i. 318. 


sion of Winchester. Winchester first, and then London, 
was a rule that thus enjoyed the sanction of four succes- 
sive precedents. To secure Winchester "with all that it 
contained, and with all the prestige that its possession 
would confer, was now, therefore, the object of the Empress. 
This object she attained by the pactum of the 2nd of March, 
and with it, as we have seen, the conditional allegiance of 
the princely bishop of the see. 

Now, Henry of Blois was a great man. As papal 
legate, as Bishop of Winchester, and as brother to the 
captive king, he possessed an influence, in his triple 
capacity, which, at this eventful crisis, was probably 
unrivalled in the land. But there was one thing that he 
could not do — he could not presume, of his own authority, 
to depose or to nominate an English sovereign. Indeed 
the very fact of the subsequent election (April 8) and of 
his claim, audacious as it was, that that election should 
be the work of the clergy, proves that he had no thought 
of the even more audacious presumption to nominate the 
sovereign himself. This, then, is fatal to Mr. Birch's con- 
tention that the Empress was, on this occasion (March 3), 
elected " domina Angliae." Indeed, as I have said, it is 
based on a confusion of the two episodes. The legate, as Mr. 
Birch truly says, '' consented to recognize {sic) the Empress 
as Domina Augliw, or Lady, that is, Supreme Governor of 
England," but, obviously, he could only do so on behalf of 
himself and of his followers. We ought, therefore, to com- 
pare his action with that of Miles of Gloucester in 1139, 
when, as we have seen, in the words of the Em]Dress — 

" Becepit me ut dominam et sicut illam qiiam justum h?eredem 
regni Anglise recognovit . . . et ibi homagium siium mihi fecit ligie 
contra omnes homines." ^ 

' Compare also, even further back, the action, in Xormandy, of Gingan 
Algasil in December, 1135, who, on the appearance of the Empress, " [earn] 


Notice here the identity of expression — the ''reception " 

of the Empress and the ''recognition" of her claims. I 

have termed the earlier episode the " reception," and the 

later the " election " of the Empress. In these terms is 

precisely expressed the distinction between the two events. 

Take for instances the very passages appealed to by Mr. 

Birch himself : — 

" The exact words employed by William of Malmesbury are ' Nee 
dubitavit Episcopus Imperatricem in Dominam Anglise recipere ' 
{sic). In another place the same Henry de Blois declares of her, ' In 
Auglia) Normanniseqne Dominam eligimus ' (sic). This regular 
election of Mathildis to the dignity and office of Domina Anglise took 
place on Sunday, March 2, a.d. 1141 " (p. 378). 

Now we know, from William of Malmesbury himself, that 
"the regular election in question" took place on the 8th 
of April, and that the second of the passages quoted above 
refers to this later episode,^ while the other refers to the 
earlier.^ I have drawn attention to the two words (recipere 
and eligimus) which he respectively applies to the "recep- 
tion " and the " election." The description of this "recep- 
tion" by William of Malmesbury^ completely tallies with 
that which is given by the Empress herself in a charter.* It 
should further be compared with the account by the author 
of the Gesta Stephani, of the similar reception accorded to 
Stephen in 1135.^ 

But though the legate could open to the Empress the 
cathedral and the cathedral city, he had no power over 

ut naturalem dominam suscepit, eique . . . oppida quibus lit vicccoraes, 

jubente rege prseerat, subegit " (Ord. Vit., v. 56). 

> Will Malms., p. 747. ^ jj^^^^ p^ 743^ 

5 " Honorifica facta procession e recepta est in ecclesia " (p. 744). 

* " Idem prelatus et cives Wintonie honorifice in ecclesia et urbe Win- 
tonie me receperunt " (Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxi. 378) 

* " Prsesul Wintonie . . . cum dignioribus Wintonie civibus obvius ei 
advenit, habitoque in communi brevi colloquio, in civitatem, secundam dun- 
taxat regni sedem, honorifice induxit " (p. 5). Note that in each case the 
" colloquium" preceded the entry. 


the royal castle. This we saw in the case of Stephen, 
when his efforts to secure the constable's adherence were 
fruitless till the king himself arrived. Probably the 
constable, at this crisis, was the same William de Pont de 
I'Arche, but, whoever he was, he surrendered to the 
Empress the castle and all that it contained. In one 
respect, indeed, she was doomed to be bitterly disappointed, 
for the royal treasury, which her adventurous rival had 
found filled to overflowing, was by this time all but empty. 
One treasure, however, she secured; the object of her desires, 
the royal crown, was placed in her triumphant hands. ^ 

To the one historian who has dealt with this incident 
it has proved a stumbling-block indeed. Mr. Freeman 
thus boldly attacks the problem : — 

" William of Malmesbury {Eht. Nov., iii. 42) seems distinctly to 
exclude a coronation ; he merely says, ' Honorifica facta processione, 
recepta est in ecclesia episcopatus Wintonise.' We must, therefore, 
see only rhetoric when the Continuator says, ' Datur ejus dominio 
corona Angliae,' and when the author of the Gesfa (75) speaks of 
'regisque castello, et regni corona, quam semper ardentissime 
affectarat, ... in deliberationem suam contraditis,' and adds that 
Henry 'dominam et reginam acclamare pr^cepit.' The Waverley 
Annalist, 1141, ventures to say, ' Corona regni est ei tradita.' " ^ 

''Only rhetoric." Ah, how easily could history be 
written, if one could thus dispose of inconvenient evi- 
dence ! So far from being ''rhetoric," it is precisely 
because these statements are so strictly matter-of-fact 
that the writer failed to grasp their meaning. Had he 
known, or remembered, that the royal crown was pre- 
served in the royal treasury, the passage by which he is ^ 
so sorely puzzled would have proved simplicity itself.^ 

» " Eegisque castello, et regni corona, quam semper ardentissime' affectarat 
thesaurisque quos licet perpaucos rex ibi reliquerat, in deliberationem suam 
contraditis " (^Gesta, 75). 

^ Norm. Cktnques't, v. 304 (note). 

' As an instance of the crown being kept at Winchester, take the entry in 


Here again, light is thrown on these events and on the 
action of the Empress by the precedent in the case of her 
father (1100), who, on the death of his brother, hastened 
to Winchester Castle (*'ubi regalis thesaurus contine- 
batur "), which was formally handed over to him with all 
that it contained (" arx cum regalibus gazis filio regis 
Henrico reddita est ").^ 

We have yet to consider the passage from the Gesta, 
to which Mr. Birch so confidently appeals, and which is 
dismissed by Mr. Freeman as *^ rhetoric." The passage 
runs : — 

"In publica se civitatis et fori audientia dominam et reginam 
acclamare prsecepit." ^ 

By a strange coincidence it has been misconstrued by 
both writers independently. Mr. Freeman, as we saw, 
takes *' praecepit " as referring to Henry himself, and so 
does Mr. Birch.^ Though the sentence as a whole may 
be obscure, yet the passage quoted is quite clear. The 
words are ^'prsecepit se," not "praecepit illam." Thus 
the proclamation, if made, was the doing of the Empress 
and not of the legate. Had the legate been indeed 
responsible, his conduct would have been utterly inconsis- 
tent. But as it is, the difficulty vanishes.* 

To the double style, **domina et regina," I have made 

the Pipe-Koll of 4 Hen. II. : " In conducendis coronis Regis ad Wirecestre de 
■Wintonia," the crowns being taken out to be worn at Worcester, Easter, 1158. 
Oddly enough, Mr. Freeman himself alludes, in its place, to a similar taking 
out of the crown, from the treasury at Winchester, to be worn at York, 
Christmas, 1069. The words of Ordericus, as quoted by him, are : " Guillcl- 
mus ex civitate Guenta jubet adferri coronam, aliaque ornamenta regalia et 
vasa" (of. JDialogus, I. 14). 

* Ordericus Vitalis. ^ Gesta, 75 ; Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxi. 378. 
' " He (sic) ordered that she should be proclaimed lady and queen." 

* The Gesta itself is, on this point, conclusive, for it distinctly states that 
the Empress '* solito severius, solito et arrogantius procedere et loqui, et 
cuncta ccepit peragere, adeo ut in ipso mox domini sui capite reginam se 
totius AnglisB fecerit, et gloriata fuerit appellari.'' 


reference above. My object now is to examine this 
assumption of the style ''regina" by the Empress. It 
might perhaps be urged that the author of the Gesta cannot 
here be implicitly relied on. His narrative, however, is 
vigorous and consistent ; it is in perfect harmony with 
the character of the Empress ; and so far as the assump- 
tion of this style is concerned, it is strikingly confirmed 
by that Oxford charter, to which we are now coming. 
After her election (April 8), the EmjDress might claim, as 
queen elect, the royal title, but if that were excusable, 
which is granting much, its assumption before her election 
could admit of no defence. Yet, headstrong and im- 
petuous, and thirsting for the throne, she would doubtless 
urge that her rival's fall rendered her at once de facto 
queen. But this was as yet by no means certain. 
Stephen's brother, as we know, was talked of, and the 
great nobles held aloof. The Continuator, indeed, asserts 
that at Winchester (March) were ''praesules pene totius 
Angliae, barones multi, principes plurimi " (p. 180), but 
William, whose authority is here supreme, does not, though 
writing as a partisan of the Empress, make any allusion to 
their presence.-^ Moreover, the primate was still in doubt, 
and of the five bishops who were present with the legate, 
three (St. David's, Hereford, and Bath) came from 
districts under the influence of the Empress, while the 
other two (Lincoln and Ely) were still smarting beneath 
Stephen's action of two years before (1139). 

The special interest, therefore, of this bold proclama- 
tion at Winchester lies in the touch it gives us of that 
feminine impatience of the Empress, which led her to 
grasp so eagerly the crown of England in her hands, and 
now to anticipate, in this hasty manner, her election and 
formal coronation.^ 

^ To this visit (if the only occasion on which she was at Winchester in 


Within a few days of her reception at Winchester, she 
retraced her steps as far as Wilton, where it was arranged 
that she should meet the primate, with whom were certain 
bishops and some lay folk.^ Theobald, however, professed 
himself unable to render her homage until he had received 
from the king his gracious permission to do so.^ For this 
purpose he went on to Bristol, while the Empress made 
her way to Oxford, and there spent Easter (March 30th) .^ 
We must probably assign to this occasion her admission 
to Oxford by Robert d'Oilli.^ The Continuator, indeed, 
assigns it to May, and in this he is followed by modern 
historians. Mr. Freeman, for instance, on his authority, 
places the incident at that stage, ^ and so does Mr. Franck 

But the movements of the Empress, at this stage, are 

the spring) must belong the Empress's charter to Thurstan de Montfort. 
As it is not comprised in Mr. Birch's collection, I subjoin it in extenso 
(from Dugdale's MSS.):— 

"M. Imperatrix H. Kegis filia Kogero Comiti de Warwick et omnibus 
fidelibus suis Francis et Anglis de Warewicscire salutem. Sciatis me 
concessisse Thurstino de Monteforti quod habeat mercatum die dominica ad 
castellum suum de Beilodeserto. Volo igitur et firmiter prsecipio quatenus 
omnes euntes, et stantes, et redeuntes de Mercato prsedicto habeaut firmam 
pacem. T. Milone de Glocestria. Apud Wiutoniam." 

As Milo attests not as an earl, this charter cannot belong to the subse- 
quent visit to Winchester in the summer. The author of the Gesta mentions 
the Earl of Warwick among those who joined the Empress at once " sponte 
nulloque cogente," 

» Cont. Flor. Wig., p. 130. 

^ This he did on the ground that the recognition of Stephen as king by 
the pope, in 1136, was binding on all ecclesiastics {Historia Pontificalis). 
Vide infra, p. 69, n. 1. 

^ Will. Malms., p. 744. Oddly enough, Miss Norgate gives this very 
reference for her statement that in a few days the Archbishop of Canterbury 
followed the legate's example, and swore fealty to the Empress at Wilton. 

* " Convenitur ibi ab eadem de principibus unus, vocabulo Robertus de 
Oileio, de reddendo Oxenfordensi castello ; quo consentiente, venit ilia, 
totiusque civitatis et circumjacentis egionis suscepit dominium atque 
hominium" (Cont Flor. Wig., p. 131). 

' " She then made her way to London by a roundabout path. She was 
received at Oxford by the younger Robert of Oily," etc. (Norm. Conq., v. 306). 

* English History, I. 83. 



really difficult to determine. Between her presence at 
Oxford (March 30) ^ and her presence at Reading (May 
5-7),^ we know nothing for certain. One would imagine 
that she must have attended her own election at Win- 
chester (x\pril 7, 8), but the chroniclers are silent on 
the subject, though they, surely, would have mentioned 
her presence. On the whole, it seems most probable 
that the Continuator must be in error, when he places 
the adhesion of Robert d'Oilli so late as May (at Reading) 
and takes the Empress subsequently to Oxford, as if for 
the first time. 

It was, doubtless, through her '' brother " Robert 
*' fitz Edith" that his step-father, Robert d'Oilli, was 
thus won over to her cause. It should be noted that 
his defection from the captive king is pointedly mentioned 
by the author of the Gesta, even before that of the Bishop 
of Winchester, thus further confirming the chronology 
advanced above. ^ At Oxford she received the submission 
of all the adjacent country,* and also executed an important 
charter. This charter Mr. Bii'ch has printed, having 
apparently collated for the purpose no less than five 
copies.^ Its special interest is derived from the fact that 
not only is it the earliest charter she is known to have 
issued after Stephen's fall (with the probable exception of 
that to Thui'stan de Montfort), but it is also the only one 
of her charters in which we find the royal phrases '' eccle- 
sisii'um. regni mei'' and '' pertinentibus coronas mese,'' Mr. 

^ Will Malms. 2 Cont. Flor. Wig. 

' " Aliis quoque sponte, nuUoque cogente, ad comitissse imperium conver- 
sis (ut Eobertu3 de Oli, civitatis Oxenefordise sub rege prseceptor, et cornea 
ille de "Warwic, viri molles, et deliciis magis quam animi fortitudine aflflu- 
entes) " (p. 74). 

* Cont, Flor. Wig. (ut supra). 

* Journ. B. A. A,, xxxi. 388, 389. It will also be found in the Monasticon 
(iii. 87). 


Birch writes of its testing clause {" Apud Oxeneford Anno 
ab Incarnatione Domini mc. quatragesimo ") : 

The date of this charter is very interesting, because it is the only 
example of an actual date calculated by expression of the years of the 
Incarnation, which occurs among the entire series which I have been 
able to collect. . . . Now, as the historical year in these times com- 
menced on the 25th of March, there is no doubt but that this charter 
was granted to the Abbey of Hulme at some time between the 3rd 
and the 25th of March, a.d. 1140-41.1 

Mr. Eyton has also independently discussed it (though 
his remarks are still in MS.), and detects, with his usual 
minute care, a difficulty, in one of the three witnesses, to 
which Mr. Birch does not allude. 

" St. Benet of Hulme. 

" The date given (1140) seems to combine with another circum- 
stance to lead to error. Matilda's style is ' Matild' Imp. H. regis filia,' 
not, as usual, * Anglorum domina.' One might therefore conclude that 
the deed passed before the battle of Lincoln, and so in 1140. However, 
this conclusion would be wrong, for though Mat* does not style her- 
self Queen, she asserts in the deed Eoyal rights and speaks of matters 
pertaining ' coronse mese.' But we do not know that Maud was ever 
in Oxford before Stephen's captivity, nor can we think it. Again, it 
is certain that Bob' de Sigillo did not become Bishop of London till 
after Easter, 1141, for at Easter, 1142, he expressly dates his own deed 
'anno prime poutif mei.' He was almost certainly appointed when 
Maud was in London in July, 1141, for he attests Mile's patent of 
earldom on July 25." ^ 

The omission of the style ''Anglorum domina" is, 
however, strictly correct, and not, as Mr. Eyton thought, 
singular. For it was not till her election on the 8th of 
April that she became entitled to use this style. As for 
her assumption of the royal phrases, it is here simply ultra 
vires. Then, as to the attesting bishop (''E. episcopo 
Londoniensi "), his presence is natural, as he was a monk 
of Beading, and his position would seem to be paralleled 

» Journ. B.A.A., xxxi. p. 379. ^ ^^^; ^^^^ 31,943, fol. 118. 


by that of bis predecessor Maurice, wbo appears as bisbop 
in tbe Survey, tbougb, probably, only elect. As ber father 
''gave the bishopric of Winchester" the moment be was 
elected, and before he was crowned,^ so the Empress 
*'gave," it would seem, the see of London to Eobert "of 
the Seal," even before ber formal election — an act, it 
should be noted, thoroughly in keeping with ber impetuous 
assumption of the regal style. Besides tbe bishop and the 
Earl of Gloucester, there is a third witness to this charter 
— ''Eeginaldo filio Eegis." No one, it seems, has noticed 
the fact that here alone, among the charters of the Empress, 
Eeginald attests not as an earl, which confirms tbe early 
date claimed for this charter. A charter which I assign 
to the following May is attested by him : " Eeginaldo 
comite filio regis." This would seem to place his creation 
between the dates of these charters, i.e. circ. April (1141).^ 
To sum up, the evidence of this charter is in complete 
agreement with that of William of Malmesbury, when be 
states that the Empress spent Easter (March 30) at 
Oxford ; and we fm'ther learn from it that she must have 
arrived there at least as early as tbe 24th of March. 

Tbe fact that Mr. Freeman, in common with others, 
has overlooked this early visit of the Empress in March, 
is no doubt the cause of bis having been misled, as I have 
shown, by the Continuator's statement. 

^ Ang. Sax. Chron., a.d. 1100. 

^ Relying on the explicit statement of the chronicler (Will. Malms.^ p. 
732), that the Earl of Gloucester " fratrem etiam suum Reinaldum in tanta 
difficultate temporis comitem Cornubise creavit," historians and antiquaries 
have assigned this creation to 1140 (see Stubbs' Const. Hut.,i. 362, n. ; Court- 
hope's Historic Peerage ; Doyle's Official Baronage). In the version of 
Reginald's success given by the author of the Gesta, there is no mention of 
this creation, but that may, of course, be rejected as merely negative evi- 
dence. The above charter, however, certainly raises the question whether 
he had indeed been created earl at the time when he thus attested it. The 
point may be deemed of some importance as involving the question whether 
the Empress did really create an earl before the triumph of her cause. 


The Assembly at Winchester took place, as has been 
said, on the 7th and 8th of April. William of Malmesbury 
was present on the occasion, and states that it was 
attended by the primate '' and all the bishops of 
England." ^ This latter phrase may, however, be ques- 
tioned, in the light of subsequent charter evidence. 

The proceedings of this council have been well 
described, and are so familiar that I need not repeat them. 
On the 7th was the private conclave ; on the 8th, the 
public assembly. I am tempted just to mention the 
curiously modern incident of the legate (who presided) 
commencing the proceedings by reading out the letters of 
apology from those who had been summoned but were 
unable to be present.^ On the 8th the legate announced 
to the Assembly the result of the previous day's con- 
clave : — 

"filiam pacific! regis ... in Anglise Normanniseque dominam 
ehgimus, et ei fidem et manutenementum promittimus." ^ 

On the 9th, the deputation summoned from London 
arrived and was informed of the decision ; on the lOtli 
the assembly was dissolved. 

* " Concilium archiepiscopi Cantuarise Thedbaldi, et omnium episcoporum 
Anglise" (p. 744). Strange to say, Professor Pearson (I. 478) states that 
"Theobald remained faithful" to Stephen, though he had now formally- 
joined the* Empress. On the other hand, " Stephen's queen aud William of 
Ypres" are represented by him as present, though they were far away, 
preparing for resistance. An important allusion to the primate's conduct 
at this time is found (under 1148) in the Eistoria Pontificalis (Pertz's Monu- 
menta Hidorica, vol. xx.), where we read "propter obedienciam sedis 
apostolicse proscriptus fuerat, quando urgente mandato domni Henrici Win- 
toniensis episcopi tunc legationem fungentis in Anglia post alios episcopos 
omnes receperat Imperatricem . . . licet inimicissimos habuerit regem et 
consiliarios sues." 

^ " Si qui defuerunt, legatis et Uteris causas cur non venissent dederunt. 
. . . Egregie quippe memini, ipsa die, post recitata scripta excusatoria quibus 
absentiam suain quidem tutati sunt," etc. {Will. Malms. ^ pp. 744, 745). 
Is it possible that we have, in " legati," a hint at attendance by proxy ? 

2 Ibid., p. 746. 


The point I shall here select for discussion is the 
meaning of the term "domina Angliae," and the effect 
of this election on the position of the Empress. 

Fii'st, as to the term ^' domina Anglige." Its territorial 
character must not be overlooked. In the charters of the 
Empress, her style ** Ang' domina " becomes occasionally, 
though very rarely, ''Anglor' domina," proving that its 
right extension is " kn^orum Domina," which differs, 
as we have seen, from the chroniclers' phrase. The 
importance of the distinction is this. ^'Kex" is royal 
and national; '* dominus " is feudal and territorial. We 
should expect, then, the first to be followed by the nation 
('* Anglorum "), the second by the territory ("Anglise"). 
But, in addition to its normal feudal character, the term 
may here bear a special meaning. 

It would seem that the clue to its meaning in this 
special sense was first discovered by the late Sir William 
(then Mr.) Hardy (** an ingenious and diligent young 
man," as he was at the time described) in 1836. He 
pointed out that '' Dominus Anglie " was the style adopted 
by Eichard I. '' between the demise of his predecessor and 
his own coronation."^ Mr. Albert Way, in a valuable 
paper on the charters belonging to Reading Abbey, which 
appeared some twenty-seven years later,^ called attention 
to the styles "Anglorum Regina" and ''Ahglorum 
Domina,'" as used by the Empress.^ As to the former, he 
referred to the charter of the Empress at Reading, grant- 
ing lands to Reading Abbey.* As to the latter (" Domina 
Angiorum "), he quoted Mr. Hardy's paper on the charter 

^ Archseologia^ xxvii. 110. See the charter in question in the Pipe-Roll 
Society's " Ancient Charters," Part L, p. 92. 

2 Arch. Journ. (1863), xx. 281-296. 

2 Ibid., p. 283. Mr. Way adopts the extension " Angiorum" throughout. 

* " The only instances in which we have documentary evidence that she 
styled herself Queen of England occur in two charters of tliis period" (ibid.). 


of Kicliard I., and urged that ** the fact that Matilda was 
never crowned Queen of England may suffice to account 
for her being thus styled" (p. 283). He further quoted 
from William of Malmesbury the two passages in which 
that chronicler applies this style to the Empress/ and he 
carefully avoided assigning them both to the episode of tlie 
2nd of March. Lastly, he quoted the third passage, that 
in the Gesta Stephani. 

Mr. Birch subsequently read a paper '* On the Great 
Seals of King Stephen " before the Eoyal Society of 
Literature (December 17, 1873), in which he referred to 
Mr. Way's paper, as the source of one of the charters 
of which he gave the text, and in which he embodied 
Mr. Way's observations on the styles "Eegina" and 
*' Domina." ^ But instead, unfortunately, of merely follow- 
ing in Mr. Way's footsteps, he added the startling error 
that Stephen was a prisoner, and Matilda consequently 
in power, till 1143. He wrote thus : — 

" Did the king ever cease to exercise his regal functions ? Were 
these functions performed by any other constitutional sovereign mean- 
while ? The events of the year 1141 need not to be very lengthily 
discussed to demonstrate that for a brief period there was a break 
in Stephen's sovereignty, and a corresponding assumption of royal 
power by another ruler unhindered and unimpeached by the lack of 
any formality necessary for its full enjoyment. . . . William 
of Malmesbury, writing with all the opportunity of an eye-witness, 
and moving in the royal court at the very period, relates at full length 
in his Historia Novella (ed. Hardy, for Historical Society, vol. ii. 
p. 7743), the particulars of the conference held at Winchester subse- 
quent to the capture of Stephen after the battle of Lincoln, in the 
early part of the year, 4 Non. Feb. a.d. 1141. . . This election of 
Matilda as Domina of England in place of Stephen took place on 
Sunday, March 2, 1141. . . . Until the liberation of the king from his 
incarceration at Bristol, as a sequel to the battle at Winchester in 
A.D. 1143, so disastrous to the hopes of the Empress, she held her 

^ Vide supra, pp. 61, 69. * Pp. xi.-xiv. (see foot-notes). 

^ The volume closes at p. 769. 


position as queen at Loudon. The narrative of the events of this 
period, as given by William of Malmesbury in the work already 
quoted, so clearly points to her enjoyment of all temporal power 
needed to constitute a sovereign, that we must admit her name 
among the regnant queens of England " (pp. 12-14:). 

Two years later (June 9, 1875), Mr. Birch read a 
paper before the British Archaeological Association,^ in 
^yhich, in the same words, he advanced the same thesis. 

The following year (June 28, 1876), in an instructive 
paper read before the Royal Society of Literature,^ Mr. 
Birch wrote thus : — 

" As an example of new lights which the study of early English 
seals has thus cast upon our history (elucidations, as it were, of facts 
which have escaped the keen research of every one of our illustrious 
band of historians and chi'oniclers for upwards of seven hundred 
years), an examination into the history of the seal of Mathildis or 
Maud, the daughter and heiress of King Henry I. (generally known 
as the Empress Maud, or Mathildis Imperatrix, from the fact of her 
marriage with the Emperor Henry V. of Germany), has resulted in 
my being fortunately enabled to demonstrate that royal lady's 
undisputed right to a place in all tables or schemes of sovereigns of 
England ; nevertheless it is, I believe, a very remarkable fact that her 
position with regard to the throne of England should have been so long, 
so universally, and so persistently ignored, by all those whose fancy 
has led them to accept facts at second hand, or from perfunctory 
inquiries into the sources of our national history rather than from 
careful step-by-step pursuit of truth through historical tracks which, 
like indistinct paths in the primseval forest, often lead the wanderer 
into situations which at the outset could not have been foreseen. In 
a paper on this subject which I prepared last year, and which is now 
published in the Journal of the British Archaeological Association, I have 
fully explained my views of the propriety of inserting the name of 
Mathildis or Maud as Queen of England into the History Tables 
under the date of 1141-1113 ; and as this position has never as yet 
been impugned, we may take it that it is right in the main; and 
I have shown that until the liberation of King Stephen from his 

• "A Fasciculus of the Charters of Mathildis, Empress of the Germans, 
and an Account of her Great Seal" (Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxi. 376-398). 

2 " On the Seals of King Henry the Second and of his Son, the so-culled 
Henry the Third" [Transactions, vol. xi. part 2, New SeriLs). 


imprisonment at Bristol, as a sequel to the battle at Winchester in 
1143 (so disastrous to the prospects of Mathildis), she held her position 
as queen, most probably at London. . . . 

" Now, I have introduced this apparent digression in this place to 
point to the importance of the study of historical seals, for my claim 
to the restoration of this queen's name is not due so much to my own 
researches as it is to the unaccountable oversight of others." ^ 

I fear that, notwithstanding Mr. Birch's criticism on 
all who have gone before him, a careful analysis of the sub- 
ject will reveal that the only addition he has made to 
our previous knowledge on this subject, as set forth in Mr. 
Way's papers, consists in two original and quite incom- 
prehensible errors ; one of them, the assigning of Maud's 
election to the episode of the 2nd and 3rd of March, 
instead of to that of the 7tli and 8th of April (1141) ; the 
other, the assigning of Stephen's liberation to 1143 instead 
of 1141. When we correct these two errors, springing 
(may we say, in Mr. Birch's words?) "from perfunctory 
inquiries into the sources of our national history rather 
than from careful step-by-step pursuit of the truth," we 
return to the status quo ante, as set forth in Mr. Way's 
paper, and find that " the unaccountable oversight," by 
all writers before Mr. Birch, of the fact that the Empress 
"held her position as queen," for more than two years, 
" most probably at London," is due to the fact that her 
said rule lasted only a few months, or rather, indeed, a 
few weeks, while in London itself it was numbered by days. 

But though it has been necessary to speak plainly on 
Mr. Birch's unfortunate discovery, one can probably agree 
with his acceptance of the view set forth by Mr. Hardy, 
and espoused by Mr. Way, that the style " domina " 
represents that "dominus" which was used as "a tem- 
porary title for the newly made monarch during the 
interval which was elapsing between the death of the 

1 Pp. 2, 3. 


predecessor and the coronation day of the living king."^ 
To Mr. Hardy's instance of Eichard's style, ''Dominus 
Angl[i8e]," August, 1189, we may add, I presume, that 
of John, ''Dominus Angliae," April 17th and 29th, (1199).^ 
Now, if this usage be clearly established, it is certainly 
a complete explanation of a style of which historians have 
virtually failed to grasp the relevance. 

But a really curious j)arallel, which no one has pointed 
out, is that afforded in the reign immediately preceding this, 
by the case of the king's second wife. Great importance is 
rightly attached to ''the election of the Empress as *domina 
Angliae ' " (as Dr. Stubbs describes it^), and to the words 
which William of Malmesbury places in the legate's 
mouth ; ^ and yet, though the fact is utterly ignored, the 
very same formula of election is used in the case of Queen 
'' Adeliza," twenty years before (1121) ! 

The expression there used by the Continuator is 
this: " Puella prsedicta, in regni dominani electa, . . . regi 
desponsatur " (ii. 75). That is to say that before her 
marriage (January 29) and formal coronation as queen 
(January 30) she was elected, it would seem, ''Domina 
Angliae." The phrase '' in regni dominam electa " precisely 
describes the status of the Empress after her election at 
Winchester, and before that formal coronation at West- 
minster which, as I maintain, was fully intended to follow. 
We might even go further still, and hold that the descrip- 
tion of Adeliza as "futuram regni dominam," ^ when the 
envoys were despatched to fetch her, implies that she had 
been so elected at that great Epiphany council, in which 
the king '* decrevit sibi in uxorem Atheleidem." ^ But I 

* Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 383. 

2 Wells Liber Albus, fol. 10 (Hist MSS. Beport on Wells MSS.). 

3 Const. Hist., i. 326, 341, 342. 

* " In Angliae Xormanniseque dominam eligimus." 

* Cont. Flor. Wig., ii. 75. See Addenda. « Ihid. 


do not wish to press the parallel too far. In any case, 
precisely as with the Empress afterwards, she was clearly 
" domina Angliae" before she was crowned queen. And, 
if '* electa" means elected, the fact that these two 
passages, referring to the two elections (1121 and 1141), 
come from two independent chronicles proves that the 
terms employed are no idiosyncracy, but refer to a 
recognized practice of the highest constitutional interest. 

Of course the fact that the same expression is applied 
to the election of Queen *' Adeliza " as to that of the Empress 
herself, detracts from the importance of the latter event, 
regarded as an election to the throne. 

At the same time, I hold that we should remember, as 
in the case of Stephen, the feudal bearing of dominus." For 
herein lies its difference from "■ Eex." The *' dominatus " of 
the Empress over England is attained step by step.^ At 
Cirencester, at Winchester, at Oxford, she becomes 
** domina " in turn.^ Not so with the royal title. She 
could be **lady" of a city or of a man: she could be 
" queen " of nothing less than England. 

I must, however, with deep regret, differ widely from 
Mr. Birch in his conclusions on the styles adopted by the 
Empress. These he classes under three heads. ^ The 
second (*' Mathildis Imperatrix Henrici regis filia et 
Anglorum regina ") is found in only two charters, which 
I agree with him in assigning *'to periods closely con- 
secutive," not indeed to the episode of March 2 and 3, but 
to that of April 7 and 8. Of his remaining twenty -seven 
charters, thirteen belong to his first class and fourteen to 
his third, a proportion which makes it hard to understand 

^ " Pleraque tuuc pars Angliss dominatum ejus siiscipiebat " ( Will. 
Malms., p. 749). 

^ *'Ejusdem civitatis sumeus dominium . . . totiusque civitatis suscepit 
dominium," etc. {Cont. Flor. Wig.). 

3 Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 382, 383. 


why he should speak of the latter as ''by far the most 

Of the first class ('' Mathildis Imperatrix Henrici 
Eegis filia ") Mr. Birch writes : — 

"It is most probable that these documents are to be assigned to 
a period either before the death of her father. King Henry I., or at most 
to the initial years of Stephen, before any serious attempt had been 
made to obtain the posbession of the kingdom." 

Now, it is absolutely certain that not a single one of 
them can be assigned to the period suggested, that not one 
of them is previous to that 2nd of March (1141) which 
Mr. Birch selects as his turning-point, still less to *' the 
death of her father" (1135). Nay, on Mr. Birch's own 
showing, the first and most important of these documents 
should be dated ''between the 3rd of March and the 24th 
of July, A.D. 1141 " (p. 380), and two others (Nos. 21, 28) 
"must be ascribed to a date between 1149 and 1151" 
(p. 397 w.). Nor is even this all, for as in two others the 
son of the Empress is spoken of as "King Henry," they 
must be as late as the reign of Henry II. 

So, also, with the third class (" Mathildis Imperatrix 
Henrici regis filia et Anglorum domina"), of which we are 
told that it — 

"was in the first instance adopted — I mean used — in those charters 
which contain the word and were promulgated between a.d. 1135 and 
A.D. 1141, by reason of the ceremony of coronation not yet having beeti 
performed ; and with regard to those charters which are placed subse- 
quent to A.D. 1141, either because the ceremony was still unperformed, 
although she had the possession of the crown, or because of some 
stipulation with her opponents in power " (p. 383). 

Here, again, it is absolutely certain that not a single 
one of these charters was "promulgated between a.d. 1135 
and A.D. 1141." We have, therefore, no evidence that the 
Empress, in her charters, adopted this style until the 
election of April 7 and 8 (1141) enabled her justly to do 


SO. But the fact is that Mr. Birch's theory is not only 
based, as we have seen, on demonstrably erroneous 
hypotheses, but must be altogether abandoned as opposed 
to every fact of the case. For the two styles which he 
thus distinguishes were used at the same time, and even 
in the same document. For instance, in the very first of 
Mr. Birch's documents, that great charter to Geoffrey de 
Mandeville, to which we shall come in the next chapter, 
issued at the height of Matilda's power, and on the eve, 
as we shall see, of her intended coronation, *' Anglorum 
domina " is omitted from her style, and the document is 
therefore, by Mr. Birch, assigned to the first of his classes. 
Yet I shall show that in a portion of the charter which has 
perished, and which is therefore unknown to Mr. Birch, 
her style is immediately repeated with the addition 
*' Anglorum Domina." It is clear, then, on Mr. Birch's 
own showing, that this document should be assigned both 
to his first and to his third classes, and, consequently, that 
the distinction he attempts to draw has no foundation in fact. 
Mr. Birch's thesis would, if sound, be a discovery of 
such importance that I need not apologize for establishing, 
by demonstration, that it is opposed to the whole of the 
evidence which he himself so carefully collected. And 
when we read of Stephen's *' incarceration at Bristol, 
which was not terminated until the battle of Winchester 
in A.D. 1143, when the hopes of the Empress were shattered " 
(p. 378), it is again necessary to point out that her flight 
from Winchester took place not in 1143, but in September, 
1141. Mr. Birch's conclusion is thus expressed : — 

" We may, therefore, take it as fairly shown that until the libera- 
tion of the king from his imprisonment at Bristol (as a sequel to the 
battle at Winchester in a.d. 1143, so disastrous to the queen's hopes) 
she held her position, as queen, most probably at London," etc. 
(p. 380). 


Here, as before, it is needful to remember that the date 
is all wrong, and that the triumph of the Empress, so far 
from lasting two years or more, lasted but for a few months 
of the year 1141, in the course of which she was not at 
London for more than a few days. 

And now let us turn to my remaining point, '* the effect 
of this election on the position of the Empress." 

To understand this, we must glance back at the 
precedents of the four preceding reigns. The Empress, 
as I have shown, had followed these precedents in making 
first for Winchester : she had still to follow them in 
securing her coronation and anointing at Westminster. 
It is passing strange that all historians should have lost 
sight of this circumstance. For the case of her own father, 
in whose shoes she claimed to stand, was the aptest 
precedent of all. As he had been elected at Winchester, 
and then crowned at Westminster, so would she, following 
in his footsteps. The growing importance of London had 
been recognized in successive coronations from the Con- 
quest, and now that it was rapidly supplanting Winchester 
as the destined capital of the realm, it would be more 
essential than ever that the coronation should there take 
place, and secure not merely the 'prestige of tradition, but 
the assent of the citizens of London.^ 

It has not, however, so far as I know, occurred to any 
writer that it was the full intention of the Empress and 
her followers that she should be crowned and anointed 
queen, and that, like those who had gone before her, she 
should be so crowned at Westminster. It is because they 

^ It is very singular that Mr. Freeman failed to perceive this parallel, 
since he himself writes of Henry (1100). "The Gemot of election was held 
at "Winchester while the precedents of three reigns made it seem matter 
of necessity that the unction and coronation should be done at Westminster" 
{Will. Bufus, ii. 348). Such an admission as this is &uflEicient to prove 
my case. 


failed to grasp this that Dr. Stubbs and Mr. Freeman are 
both at fault. The former writes : — 

"Matilda became the Lady of the English ; she was not crowned, 
because perhaps the solemn consecration which she had received as 
empress sufficed, or perhaps Stephen's royalty was so far forth inde- 
feasible." 1 

"No attempt was made to crown the Empress; the legate simply 
proposes that she should be elected Lady of England and Normandy. 
It is just possible that the consecration which she had once received 
as empress might be regarded as superseding the necessity of a new 
ceremony of the kind, but it is far more likely that, so long as Stephen 
was alive and not formally degraded, the right conferred on him by 
coronation was regarded as so far indefeasible that no one else could 
be allowed to share it." ^ 

Dr. Stubbs appears here to imply that we should have 

expected her coronation to follow her election. And in 

this he is clearly right. Mr. Freeman, however, oddly 

enough, seems to have looked for it hefore her election. 

This is the more strange in a champion of the elective 

principle. He writes thus of her reception at Winchester, 

five weeks before her election : — 

" If Matilda was to reign, her reign needed to begin by something 
which might pass for an election and coronation. But her followers. 
Bishop Henry at their head, seem to have shrunk from the actual 
crowning and anointing ceremonies, which — unless Sexburh had, ages 
before, received the royal consecration— had never, either in England 
or in Gaul, been applied to a female ruler. Matilda was solemnly 
received in the cathedral church of Winchester; she was led by two 
bishops, the legate himself and Bernard of St. David's, as though to 
receive the crown and unction, but no crowning and no unction is 
spoken of." ^ 

* Early Plantagenets, 22. ^ Const. Hist, 1. 339. 

3 Norm. Conq., v. 303, 304. The foot-note to this statement (" William of 
Malmesbury seems distinctly to exclude a coronation," etc., etc.) has been 
already given (ante, p. 62). Mr. Birch confusing, as we have seen, the reception 
of the Empress with her election, naturally looks, like Mr. Freeman, to the 
former as the time when she ought to have been crowned : " The crown of 
England's sovereigns was handed over to her, a kind of seizin representing 
that the kingdom of England was under the power of her hands (although 
it does not appear that any further ceremony connected with the rite of 


At the same time, he recurs to the subject, after 

describing the election, thus : — 

"Whether any consecration was designed to follow, whether at 
such consecration she would have been promoted to the specially 
royal title, we are not told.'' ^ 

But all this uncertainty is at once dispelled when we 
learn what was really intended. Taken in conjunction 
with the essential fact that *'domina" possessed the 
special sense of the interim royal title, the intention of 
the Empress to be crowned at Westminster, and so to 
become queen in name as well as queen in deed, gives us 
the key to the whole problem. It explains, moreover, 
the full meaning of John of Hexham's words, when he 
writes that " David rex ^ddens multa competere in impera- 
tricis neptis suae pramotionem post Ascensionem Domini 
(May 8) ad eam in Suth-Anglia prafectus est . . . pluri- 
mosque ex principibus sibi acquiescentes habuit ut ipsa 
promoveretm' ad totius regni fastigium." We shall see 
how this intention was only foiled by the sudden uprising 
of the citizens ; and in the names of the witnesses to 
Geoffrey's charter we shall behold those, *' tam episcopi 
quam cinguli militaris viri, qui ad dominam inthronizandam 
pompose Londonias et arroganter convenerant." ^ 

coronation was then performed) " (Journ.'B. A. A., xxxi. p. 378). This assumes 
that the crown was "handed over to her" at a "ceremony" in the 
cathedral, whereas, as I explained, my own view is that she obtained it 
with the royal castle. 

* Norm. Conq.^ v. p. 305. 

' Gesta, 79. In the word " inthronizandam," I contend, is to be found 
the confirmation of my theory, based on comparison and induction, of an 
intended coronation at "Westminster. So far as I know, attention has never 
been drawn to it before. 

( 8I ) 




Though the election of the Empress, says William of 
Malmesbury, took place immediately after Easter, it was 
nearly midsummer before the Londoners would receive 
her.^ Hence her otherwise strange delay in proceeding to 
the scene of her coronation. An incidental allusion leads 
us to believe that this interregnum was marked by tumult 
and bloodshed in London. We learn that Aubrey de Vere 
was killed on the 9th of May, in the course of a riot in the 
city.^ This event has been assigned by every writer that 
I have consulted to the May of the previous year (1140), 
and this is the date assigned in the editor's marginal 
note.^ The context, however, clearly shows that it belongs 
to 1141. Aubrey was a man of some consequence. He 
had been actively employed by Henry I. in the capacity 
of justice and of sheriff, and was also a royal chamberlain. 
His death, therefore, was a notable event, and one is 
tempted to associate with it the fact that he was father- 
in-law to Geoffrey. It is not impossible that, on that 
occasion, they may have been acting in concert, and 
resisting a popular movement of the citizens, whether 
directed against the Empress or against Geoffrey himself. 

* " Itaque multse fuit molis Londoniensium animos permulpere posse, ut, 
cum haec statira post Pascha (ut dixi) fuerint actitata, vix paucis ante 
Nativitatein beati Johannis diebus imperatricena reciperent " (p. 748). 

2 "Galfridus de Mandevilla firmavit Turrini Loudonieusem. Idibus 
Mali Albericus deVer Londoniis occiditur" (M. Paris, Chron. Major., ii. 174). 

' Hid. 


The comparison of the Emj^ress's advance on London 
with that of her grandfather,, in similar circumstances, is 
of course obvious. The details, however, of the latter are 
obscure, and Mr. Parker, we must remember, has gravely 
impugned the account of it given in the Norman Conque^st.^ 

Of the ten weeks which appear to have elapsed between 
the election of the Empress and her reception in London, 
we know little or nothing. Early in May she came to 
Beading,^ the Continuator's statement to that effect being 
confirmed by a charter which, to all appearance, passed 
on this occasion.^ It is attested by her three constant 
companions, the Earl of Gloucester, Brian fitz Count, 
and Miles of Gloucester (acting as her constable), together 
with John (fitz Gilbert) the marshal, and her brothers 
Keginald (now an earl)* and Eobert (fitz Edith). ^ But a 
special significance is to be found in the names of the five 
attesting bishops (Winchester, Lincoln, Ely, St. David's, 
and Hereford). They are, it will be found, the same five 
who attest the charter to Geoffrey de Mandeville (mid- 
summer), and they are also the five who (with the Bishop 
of Bath) had attended, in March, the Empress at Win- 
chester. This creates a strong presumption that, in despite 
of chroniclers' vague assertions, the number of bishops 
who joined the Empress was, even if not limited to these, 
at least extremely small. ^ 

^ Tlie Early History of Oxford, cap. x. 

2 "Ad Radingum infra Rogationes veniens, suscipitur cum lionoribus, 
hinc inde piincipibus cum populis ad ejus imperium convolantibus " {Cont. 
Flor. Wig., 180). 

2 Add. Chart. (Brit. Mus.), 19,576 ; Arch. Joiirn., xx. 289 ; Journ. B. A. A., 
xxxi. 389. 

* " Reginaldo comite filio regis." He had attested, as we have seen, an 
Oxford charter (circ. March 24) as Reginald " filius regis " simply. This 
would seem to fix his creation to circ. April, 1141 (see p. 68). 

^ " Roberto fratre ejus." 

^ "We obtain incidentally, in another quarter, unique evidence on this 
very point. There is printed iu the Cartulary of Ramsey (Rolls Series), 


This is one of the two charters in which the Empress 
employs the style *'Regina." It is probable that the 
other also should be assigned to this period.^ These two 
exceptional cases would thus belong to the interim period 
during which she was queen elect, though technically only 
*' domina." Here again the fact that, during this period, 
she adopted, alternatively, both styles ("regina" and 
** domina"), as well as that which Mr. Birch assigns to 
his first period, proves how impossible it is to classify 
these styles by date. 

If we reject the statement that from Eeading she 
returned to Oxford,^ the only other stage in her progress 
that is named is that of her reception at St. Albans.^ In 
this case also the evidence of a charter confirms that of 

vol. ii. p. 254, a precept from Nigel, Bishop of Ely, to William, Prior of Ely, 
and others, notifying the agreement he has made with Walter, Abbot of 
Ramsey: — "Sciatis me et Walterum Abbatem de Rameseia consilio et 
assensu dominse nostrse Imperatricis et Episcopi Wynton' Apost' sedis legati 
aliorumque coepiscoporum meorum scilicet Line', Norwyceusis, Cestrensis, 
Hereford', Sancti Davidis, et Roberti Comitis Gloecestrie, et Hugonis Comitis 
et Brienni et Milouis ad voluntatein meam concordatos esse. Quapropter 
maudo et praecipio sicut me diligitis," etc., etc. This precept, in the printed 
cartulary, is dated " 1133-1144." These are absurdly wide limits, and a 
little research would, surely, have shown that it must belong to the period 
in which the Empress was triumphant, aud during which the legate was with 
her. This fixes it to March — June, 1141. Indepemlent of the great interest 
attaching to this document as representing a "concordia" in the court of 
the Empress during her brief triumph, it aflfords in my opinion proof of the 
personnel of her court at the time. Five of tlie seven bishops mentioned 
were, as observed in the text, in regular attendance at her court, and we may 
tlierefore, on the strength of this document, add those of "Chester" and 
Norwich, as visiting it, at least, on this occasion. So with the laity. Three 
of the four magnates named (of whom Miles had not yet received the earldom 
of Hereford) were her constant companions, so that we may safely rely on 
this evidence for the presence at her court on this occasion of Hugh, Earl of 

* Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 389. Note that in this case Seffrid, Bishop of 
Chichester, appears as a witness, doubtless because he had been Abbot of 
Glastonbury, to which abbey the charter was granted. 

"^ See above, p. 66 . 

^ " Proficiscitur inde cum exultatione magna et gaudio, et in monasterio 
Sancti Albani cum processionali suscipitur honore, et jubilo " (ConL Flor. 
Wig., 131). 


the chronicler.^ At St. Albans she received a deputation 
from London, and the terms on which the city agreed to 
receive her must have been here finally arranged.^ She 
then proceeded in state to Westminster,^ no doubt by the 
Edgware Eoad, the old Eoman highway, and was probably 
met by the citizens and their rulers, according to the 
custom, at Knightsbridge.^ 

Meanwhile, she had been joined in her progress by 
her uncle, the King of Scots, who had left his realm about 
the middle of May for the purpose of attending her 

The Empress, according to William of Malmesbury, 
reached London only a few days before the 24th of June.^ 
This is the sole authority we have for the date of her visit, 
except the statement by Trivet that she arrived on the 
21st (or 26th) of April.'' This latter date we may certainly 
reject. If we combine the statement that her flight took 

* " Apud sanctum Albanum " (Duchy of Lancaster : Royal Charters, 
No. 16 ; Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 388). 

* " Adeunt earn ibi cives multi es Londonia, tractatur ibi sermo multi- 
modus de reddenda civitate " {Cont. Flor. Wig., 131). 

' " Imperatrix, ut prsediximus, habito tractatu cum Londoniensibus, 
comitantibus secum preesulibus multis et priucipibus, secura properavit ad 
urbem, et apud Westmonasterium cum processionuli suscipitur honorifi- 
centia" (^ihid.). 

* i.e. Hyde Park Corner, as it now is. See, for this custom, the Chronicles 
of the Mayors of London, which record how, a century later (1257), upon the 
king approaching Westminster, " exierunt Maior et cives, sicut mas est ad 
salutandum ipsum usque ad Kniwtebrigge " (p. 31). The Continuator 
(p. 132) alludes to some such reception by the citizens (" cum hoaore sus- 
ceperunt "). 

* "Videus itaque David rex multa competere in imperatricis ueptis suaB 
promotion em, post Ascensionem Domini ad eam in Suthanglium profectus 
est : . . . Yenit itaque rex ad neptem suam, plurimosque ex principibus sibi 
acquiescentes habuit ut ipsa promoveretur ad totius regni fastigium" (Sym. 
Dun., ii. 309). As he did not join her till after her election, I have taken 
this latter phrase as referring to her coronation (see p. 80). Cf. p. 5, n. 5. 

® " Yix panels ante Xativitatem beati Johannis diebus." 
^ "Gives . . . Imperutricem . . . fuvorabiliter susciperunt undecimo [aZ. 
Sexto] Kul. Mali." 


place on Midsummer Day ^ with that of the Continuator 
that her visit lasted for *' some days,"^ they harmonize 
fairly enough with that of William of Malmesbury. If it 
was, indeed, after a few days that her visit was so rudely 
cut short, we are able to understand why she left without 
the intended coronation taking place. 

From another and quite independent authority, we 
obtain the same day (June 24th) as the date of her flight 
from London, together with a welcome and important 
glimpse of her doings. The would-be Bishop of Durham, 
William Cumin, had come south with the King of Scots 
(whose chancellor he was), accompanied by certain barons 
of the bishopric and a deputation from the cathedral 
chapter. Nominally, this deputation was to claim from 
the Empress and the legate a confirmation of the chapter's 
canonical right of free election ; but, in fact, it was com- 
posed of William's adherents, who purposed to secure from 
the Empress and the legate letters to the chapter in his 
favour. The legate not having arrived at court when 
they reached the Empress, she deferred her reply till he 
should join her. In the result, however, the two differed ; 
for, while the legate, warned from Durham, refused to 
support William, the Empress, doubtless influenced by 
her uncle, had actually agreed, as sovereign, to give him 
the ring and staff, and would undoubtedly have done so, 
but for the Londoners' revolt.^ It must be remembered 

^ See the Jjiher de Antiquis Legibus : " Tandem a London eusibus expulsa 
est in die Sancti Johannis Bapt." So also Trivet. 

2 " Ibique aliquantis diebus . . . resedit " (p. 131). 

' " [Legatus] rem exanimans, prsescriptam factionem invenit, fautoribusque 
ipsius digna animadversione interdixit ne Willelmum in Episcopum nisi 
canonica electione susciperent. Ipsi quoqne Willelmo interdixit omnem 
ecclesiasticam communionera, si Episcopatum susciperet nisi Canonica pro- 
motus. Actum id in die S. Johannis Baptistse. Pactus erat Willelmus ab 
Imperatrice baculum et annul um recipere ; et data hsec ei essent, nisi, facta 
a Londoniensibus dissentione, cum omnibus suis discederet ipso die a Lon- 
donia Imperatrix." — Continnatio Historise Twrgoti {Anglia Sacra, i.lU). 


that, for her own sake, the Empress would welcome every 
opportunity of exercising sovereign rights, as in her 
prompt bestowal of the see of London upon Robert. And 
though she lost her chance of actually investing William, 
she had granted, before her flight, letters commending him 
for election.-^ 

Thus we obtain the date of the charter which is the 
subject of this chapter. In this case alone was Mr. Eyton 
right in the dates he assigned to these documents. Nor, 
indeed, is it possible to be mistaken. For this charter can 
only have passed on the occasion of this, the only visit 
that the Empress paid to Westminster. Yet, even here, Mr. 
Eyton's date is not absolutel}^ correct. For he holds that 
it " passed in the short period during which Maud was in 
London, i.e. between June 24 and July 25, 1141 " ; ^ whereas 
''June 24" is the probable date of her departure, and 
not of her arrival, which was certainly previous to that 

There is but one other document (besides a compara- 
tively insignificant precept ^) which can be positively 

This passage further proves (though, indeed, there is no reason to doubt it) 
that the legate remained in London till the actual flight of the Empress. It 
also illustrates their discordance. 

' " Literas Imperatricis directas ad Capitulura, quarum summa hsec erat: 
Quod vellet Ecclesiam nostram de Pastore cousultam esse, et nomiuatim de 
illo quem Robertus Archidiaconus Dominaret, et quod de illo vellet, et de 
alio omnino noUet. Quaesitiun est ergo quis hie esset. Responsum est quod 
Willelmus " (ibid.). This has, of course, an important bearing on the 
question of episcopal election. Strong though the terms of her letter appear 
to have been, the Empress here waives the right, on which her father and 
her son insisted, of having the election conducted in her presence and in 
her own chapel, and anticipated the later practice introduced by the charter 
of John. 

' Add. MSS., 31,943, fol. 97. So too fol. 115 : "After June 24, 1141, when 
the Empress was received in London; before July 2-5, when Milo was created 
Earl of Hereford." 

' Mandate to Sheriff of Essex in favour of William fitz Otto (Journ. 
B. A. A., xxxi. 387). It is possible that the charter to Christ Church, 
London (ibid., p. 388), may also belong to this occasion ; but, even if so, it 
is of no importance. 


assigned to this visit.^ This consideration alone would 
invest our charter with interest, but when we add to this 
its great length, its list of witnesses, and its intrinsic 
importance, it may be claimed as one of the most instruc- 
tive documents of this obscure and eventful period. 

Of the original, now among the Cottonian Charters 
(xvi. 27), Mr. Birch, who is exceptionally qualified to pro- 
nounce upon these subjects, has given us as complete a 
transcript as it is now possible to obtain.^ To this he has 
appended the following remarks :■ — 

" This most important charter, one of the earliest, if not the 
earliest example of the text of a deed creating a peerage, does not 
appear to have been ever published. I cannot find the text in any 
printed book or MS. Fortunately Sir William Dugdale inspected this 
charter before it had been injured in the disastrous Cottonian fire, 
which destroyed so many invaluable evidences of British history. In 
his account of the Mandevilles, Earls of Essex {Baronage^ vol. i. p. 202) 
he says that * this is the most antient creation-charter, which hath ever 
been known, vida Selden's Titles of Honour, p. 64.7/ and he gives an 
English rendering of the greater portion of the Latin text, which has 
enabled me to conjecture several emendations and restorations in the 
above transcript." 

Mr. Birch having thus, like preceding antiquaries, 
borne witness to the interest attaching to *'this most 
important charter," it is with special satisfaction that I 
find myself enabled to print a transcript of the entire 
document, supplying, there is every reason to believe, a 
complete and accurate text. Nor will it only enable us 
to restore the portions of the charter now wanting,^ for it 
further convicts the great Dugdale of no less serious an 
error than the omission of two most important witnesses 
and the garbling of the name of a third. ^ 

^ A charter to Koger de Valoines. See Appendix G. 
2 Journ. B. A. A., pp. 384-386. 

' The portions which are wanting in the charter and which are supplied 
from my transcript will be found enclosed in brackets. 

* Kobert, Earl of Gloucester, and William the chancellor are omitted 


The accuracy of my authorities can be tested by colla- 
tion with those portions of the original that are still perfect. 
This test is quite satisfactory, as is also that of comparing 
one of the passages they supply with Camden's transcript 
of that same passage, taken from the original charter. 
Camden's extract, of the existence of which Mr. Birch was 
evidently not aware, was printed by him in his Ordines 
Anglicanl,'^ from which it is quoted by Selden in his well- 
known Titles of Honovr.^ It is further quoted, as from 
Camden and Selden, at the head of the Patents of Creation 
appended to the Lords' Reports on the Dignity of a Peer,^ 
as also in the Third Eeport itself (where the marginal 
reference, however, is wrong).* It is specially interesting 
from Camden's comment : '^ This is the most ancient 
creation-charter that I ever saw " (which is clearly the 
origin of the statement as to its unique antiquity), and 
from the fact of that great antiquary speaking of it as 
" now in my hands." 

The two transcripts I have employed for the text (D. 
and A.) are copies respectively found in the Dugdale MSS. 
(L. fol. 81) and the Ashmole MSS. (841, fol. 3). I have 
reason to believe that this charter was among those duly 
recorded in the missing volume of the Great Coucher. 

Charter of the Empress to Geoffrey de Mandeville 
(Midsummer, 1141). 
"Archiepis- M. Imperatrix regis Henrici filia Archiepiscopis Epis- 

copie, etc." 

CD-)- copis Abbatibus (Comitibus Baronibus Justiciariis Vice- 

altogether, and Ralph Lovell becomes Ralph de London. Dugdale has, of 
course, misled Mr. Birch. 

* Appended (as the "Degrees of England") to Gibson's well-known 
edition of the Britannia (1772), vol. i. p. 125. 

2 Second edition, p. 647. 

3 Appendix V., p. 1 (ed. 1829). * Page 164. 

' Sciant " 


comitibus et ministris et omnibus baronibus et fidelibus) 
suis Francis et Anglis totius Angliae et Normannise salutem. 
(Sciatis omnes tarn prsesentes quam futuri quod Ego ^'^^^^^ 
Matildis resis Henrici filia et AnglorFum] domina) do et ;;or";(D.-); 

o o i_ J ' "oru (A.)- 

concedo Gaufrido de Magnavilla (pro servitio suo et here- ''Oaifrido" 
dibus suis post eum hereditabiliter ut sit comes de Es- ''Ef exa" 

^ ^ ^ (D.); " I'^s- 

sex[ia] et habeat tertium denarium Vicecomitatus de placitis ^ex- " (a.). 
sicut comes habere debet in comitatu suo ^ in omnibus g^'i^r^^';^'. 
rebus, et praeter hoc reddo illi in feodo et hereditate de me ^l^^"^' 
et heredibus meis totam terram quam) tenuit ^ (Gaufridus (dY" 
de Magnavilla avus suus et Serlo de Matom in Anglia et 
Normannia ita libere et ^) bene et quiete sicut aliquis ante- 
cessorum suorum illam unquam melius (et liberius tenuit, 
vel ipsemet) postea (aliquo in tempore, sibi dico) et here- 
dibus suis (post eum), et concedo illi et heredibus suis 
Custodiam turris Londonie (cum parvo Castello quod) fuit " London " 

^ ^ . CA.); -Lon. 

Ravengeri in feodo et hereditate de me (et heredibus) meis doniai"(D.). 
cum terris et liberationibus et omnibus Consuetudinibus 
quae ad (eandem terram^) pertinerent, et ut inforciet ilia "j]^'"^^^" 
secundum voluntatem suam. (Et simihter*) do ei et'/Pf**"^*" 

^ ' (A.); " per- 

coiicedo et heredibus suis C Hbratas terrse de me et (Je *'°^"' " '^^ ^■ 
(heredibus) meis in dominio, videlicet Niweport ^ pro "Newport" 
tanto quantum reddere solebat die qua rex H[enricus] "Henrkus 

r6X V. y* 

pater meus fuit vivus et mortuus, et ad rem(ovend') merca- 

tum de Niweport in Castellum suum de Waldena cum -Newport" 

... (A.). 

omnibus Consuetudinibus que prius mercato lUi melius 

^ " Ego Matildis filia regis Henrici et Anglorum domina do et concede 
Gaufredo de Magnavilla pro servicio suo et heredibus suis post eum 
hereditabiliter ut sit Comes de Essexia, et habeat tertium denarium 
Vicecomitatus de placitis sicut Comes habere debet in comitatu suo " 

2 Mr. Birch reads " tenuit bene," omitting the intervening words. 

' Mr. Birch for '* eandem terram " (rectius " turrem ") conjectures " illam. ' 

* Mr. Birch conjectures " Preterea." 

* Newport (th« name hints at a market-town) was ancient demesne of 
the Crown. It lay about three miles south-west of (Saffron) Walden. 

" quanto " 

" quantum 


"passagio" pei'tinuerunt in (Thelon[eo] et passag[io] ^) et aliis con- 

" Newport" suetudinibus, (et) ut vie de Niweport quae sunt juxta littus 

aquae ^ dirigantur ex consuetudine ad Waledenam (sup[er] 

foris)facturam meam et Mercatum de Waldena sit ad diem 

"dictam" dominicam et ad diem Jovis et ut feria^ babeatur apud 

(A.). ^ ...... .^ . 

"Vigiiia Waledenam et mcipiat m (Vigilia Pentecost^) et duret 

Pentecost " 

(A.); "vigil- per totam bebdomadam pentecostes Et Meldonam^ ad 

pentecoste* ^ 

(i^)- perfieiendum predictas C libratas terras pro tanto quantum 

inde reddi solebat die qua (Kex Henricus fuit) vivus et 
mortuus cum omnibus Appendiciis et rebus que adjacebant 
in terra et mari ad Burgum illud predicto die mortis Eegis 
Henrici, et (Deopedenam ^) similiter pro tanto quantum 
inde reddi solebat die qua rex Henricus fuit vivus et mor- 
tuus cum omnibus AjDpendiciis suis et Boscum de cbatelega "^ 

" et si " in cum (bominibus pro) ^ xx solidis, et terram de Banhunta ^ 

D. ; "et" ^ . 

omitted in A. pj-Q xl soUdis, et si quid defuerit ad C libratas perficiendas 
eud'"(i>)- perficiam ei in loco competenti in Essexa (aut in Hert)- 

"Heortforde- , . . , . 

scira" (!).); fordcscira aut m Cantebriggscira tali tenore quod si 

" Hertford- °^ ^ 

^ There was still a toll bridge there in the last century. For table of tolls 
and exemptions, see Morant's Essex. 

^ Apparently, the high road on the left bank, and the way on the right 
bank, of the Cam. 

' Neither this market nor this fair are, it would seem, to be traced 

* Mr. Birch conjectures " vigillam." 

' This was presumably a grant of the borough of Maldon (i.e. the royal 
rights in that borough), though Peverel's fee in Maldon was an escheat at the 
time. The proof of this is not only that it is here described as a "borough" 
(burgus), but also that its annual value was to be deducted from the sheriflf's 
ferm, which could only be the case if it formed part of the corpus comitatus, 
i.e. was Crown demesne. In Domesday, Peverel's fee in Maldon was valued 
at £12, and the royal manor at £16 ("ad pondus"), though it had been £24. 
It was probably the latter which Henry II. granted to his brother William 
as representing ('* pro ") £22 (" numero") (see Pipe-Kolls). 

^ Depdeii, three miles south of Walden. It had formed part, at the 
Survey, of tiie fief of Eandulf Peverel. 

^ Catlidge, according to Morant. 

^ Mr. Birch conjectures "tenentibns ibidem pro." 

' Bonhunt, now part of Wickham Bonhuiit, adjoining Newport. It had 
been held by Saisselinus at the Survey. In 1485 it was held of the honour 
of Lancaster. 


(reddi)dero Comiti Theobaldo totam terrain quam (tene- "Gaufrido" 
bat) ^ in Anfelia dabo Gaufrido Comiti Essexfiel escambium f"do"(A.>. 

*^ •- ' "Valeria 

suum ad valentiam in bis prsedictis tribus Comitatibus ante- f^t\;J.T*" 
quam de) predictis terris dissais(iatur ; si etiam reddidero i^?j ^^^^^^^ „ 
totum honorem et totam terram) beredibus Willelmi peur-^.^et'^'etiaa^o 
[elli] de Lond[onia]^ dabo similiter ei escambium advalens 
autequam dissaisiatur de ilia quae fuit peurelli et illud 
(escambium erit) de terra que remanebit illi hereditabiliter 
Et preter hoc do et concedo ei et beredibus suis de me et 
beredibus meis tenendum feodum (et servicium) xx militum 
et infra servicium istorum xx militum do ei feodum et 
servicium terre quam Hasculf [us] de tania ^ tenuit in 
Anglia die qua fuit (vivus et) mortuus, quam tenet Grae- 
leng [usj ^ et mater sua pro tanto servicii quantum de feodo 
illo debent et totum superplus istorum xx militum ^ ei 
perfieiam in (prenpmina)tis ^ tribus comitatibus. Et ser- 
vicium istorum xx militum faciet mihi separatim preter 
aliud servicium alterius feodi sui. Et preterea concedo 
(illi ut) ^ castella sua que habet stent et ei remaneant (ad) 
inforcia(ndruml)^ ad voluntatem suam Et ut ille et omnes "intorci- 

^ •- -* and'" (A.). 

homines sui teneant terras (et tenaturas) suas omnes de '' ^°*"?,^^irx' 

^ ' dum' (D.). 

" terras 
' Mr. Birch conjectures " ipse habuit." T^^^T' " 

* This, apparently, refers to Depden, as forming part of Peverel's fief, 
which had been an escheat, in the king's hands, as early as 1130 {Bot. Pip,, 
31 Hen. I.). 

' Hasculf de Tany was ancestor of the Essex family of Tany, of Staple- 
ford-Tany, Theydon Bois, Elmstead, Great Stambridge, Latton, etc. He 
appears repeatedly ia the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I. (pp. 53, 56, 58, 60, 
99, 152), when he was in litigation with William de Bovill and Rhiwallun 

* "Graelengus" is proved to be identical with " Graelandus de Thauia," 
the Essex tenant-in-capite of 1166, by Stephen's second charter (Christmas, 
1141), which gives his holding as 7^ fees, the very amount at which he 
returns it in his Carta (see 'p. 142). But his contemporary, Graeland "fitz 
Gilbert" de Tany, on the Pipe-Rolls of Henry H., was probably so styled for 
distinction, being a son of Gilbert de Tany who figures on l^e Essex Pipe- 
Roll of 1158. 

* Compare the phrase " superplus militum " in Hot. Pip. 31 H. I. (p. 47). 
^ " Predictis ; " " ei quod omnia ; " " et sint inforciata " (Mr. Birch). 


qiiocunque teneant sicut tenuerunt die qua ipse homo meus 

effectus est salvo servitio dominorum Et ut ipse et homines 

sui (sint quieti) de omnibus debitis que debuerunt regi 

Henrico aut regi Stepbano et ut ipse et omnes homines 

sui per totam Angliam sint quieti de Wastis fores(tariis et) 

'('dT G^ai-' ^ssartis que facta sunt in feodo ipsius Gaufredi usque ad 

fridi"(A). ((jiem quo) homo meus devenit Et ut a die illo in antea 

omnia ilia ess(arta sint amodo excultibilia et arrabilia sine 

"annoinci- forisfacto et ut habeat mercatum die Jovis apud Bisseiam -^ 

piat" (A.) . ... 

"preteria" et feriam similiter ibidem quoque anno; et incipiat vigilia 

(A..); "prfp- 

terea"(D.). Sauctl Jacobi et duret tres dies. Et [preterea] do et 
"Essex" concedo «i et heredibus suis in feodo et hereditate ad 
Essexa" teueudum de me et heredibus meis vicecomitatum Es- 
sex[ie] reddendo inde rectam firmam que inde reddi solebat 
"firm*" die qua rex Henricus pater meus fuit vivus et mortuus, 
"firma" ita quod auferat de summa firma vice)comitatus quantum 
"Newport" pertiuuerit ^ (ad) Meldonam et Niweport que ei (donavi et) 
MW'do ^^^^^^^ (pertinuerit ^ ad tertium) denarium de placitis 
navi"(D.). Yicecomitatus unde eum feci Comitem, et ut teneat omnia 

" Dominica " ^ 

(f*-) excidamenta mea que mihi exciderint (in com)itatu Essexe 

reddendo inde firmam rectam quamdiu erunt in Dominio 

"Essexia" mco Et ut sit capitalis Justicia in Essexa hereditabiliter 

"meo"(\). ^^^ (et hered[um]) meorum de placitis et forisfactis que 

pertinuerint ad Coronam meam, ita quod non mittam aliam 

Justiciam super eum in Comitatu illo nisi ^ (ita sit quod 

ali)quando mittam aliquem de paribus suis qui audiat cum 

illo quod placita mea juste tractentur Et ut ipse et omnes 

homines sui sint (quieti versus) me et versus heredes meos 

'I'em?^' cA ). ^^ omni forisfacto et omni malivolentia preterita ante diem 

qu^o-'cA.)^^ ^^0 meus homo devenit Et ei firmiter concedo et (here- 

'• ante diem" 

^ Bushey in Hertfordshire. Part of MandeTille's Domesday fief. 

^ Mr. Birch reads " pertinuerunt." 

^ " Pertinuit " — Mr. Birch's conjecture. 

* *' Quod aliquando " — Mr. Birch's conjecture. 


dibus suis) quod bene et in pace et libere et sine placito 
liabeat et ^ teneat hereditabiliter, sicut bsec carta confirmat, 
omnia tenementa sua (que ei concessi, in terris) et tenaturis (ix"f'"t"ne'- 
et in feodis et firmis et Castellis et libertatibus et in omni- 
bus Conventionibus inter nos factis (sicut aliquis Comes) "consuetu- 

■^ dinibus" 

terre ^ mee melius et quietius et liberius tenet ad modum <^^)- 
Comitis in omnibus rebus ita quod ipse vel aliquis hominum 
suorum non (ponantur ^ in ullo modo) in plaeitum de uno°"*(D.Y 

. 1 /• • -I /• "plaeitum" 

aliquo forisfacto quod fecissent antequamhomo meusfactus (i).);"pia- 

Clt ^A-.J. 

esset, nee pro aliquo forisfacto quod facturus sit in (antea 
ponatur in) placit[um] de feodo vel Castello vel terra vel 
tenura quam ei concesserim quamdiu se defendere 
potuerit de scelere sive (traditione) ad corpus meum lione^^A., 
pertinente per se aut per unum militem si quis coram 
venerit qui eum appellare inde voluerit. 

(T[estibus] H[enrico]Ep[iscop]o Winton[ensi]) et A[lex- 
andro] Ep[iscop]o Lincoln[ensi] et E[oberto] Ep[iscop]o 
Heref[ordensi] et N[igello] Ep[iscop]o Ely[ensiJ (et B[er- 
nardo] Ep[iscop]o de S[ancto] David et W[illelmo] 
Cancellario et Com[ite] E[oberto] de Glocestr[ia] et 
Com[ite] B[aldewino ^]) et Compte] W[illelmo] de Moion 
et B[riano] fil[io] Com[itis] (et M[ilone] Glocestr[ie] et 
E[oberto] ArundelP et E[oberto] Malet^ et Ead[ulfoJ 

' Mr. Birch reads "placito hac teneat." 

* Mr. Birch reads " tre mee." 

^ Mr. Birch conjectures "ponantur in (plaeitum)." 

* Mr. Birch conjectures " Baldewino Comite Devonie." 

* On Eobert Arundell, see Yeatman's History of the House of Arundel^ 
p. 49 (where too early a date is suggested for this charter), and p. 105 (where 
it is implied that he was a tenant of the Earl of Gloucester). He occurs 
repeatedly in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I., and again in the Westminster 
charters (1136) of Stephen. (See Appendix 0.) 

* Robert Malet also was a west -country baron. He figures in connection 
with Warminster in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I., and is among the witnesses 
to the Westminster charters (1136), being tliere styled "Dapifer" (see 
Appendix C). The carta of the Abbot of Glastonbury (1166; proves that 
l.e was the predecessor of William Malet, dapifer to Henry II. 


{vide infra.) LovgIP et Ead[ulfo] Paineir^) et W[alkelino] Maminot^ et 
Eob[erto] fil[io] E[egis] ^ et Eob[erto] m[io] Martin-^ 

^ Another west-country baron. He was one of the rebels of 1138, when 
he held Castle Carey against the king (Hen. Hunt, p. 261 ; Ord. Vit, v. 310; 
Gesta, p. 43). According to Mr. Yeatman, he was son of " William Gouel 
de Percival, called Lovel," Lord of Ivry (History of the Home of Arundel^ 
p. 136). He is however wrongly termed by him " Robert (sic) Lovel " on 
p. 268. He witnessed an early charter of the Empress to Glastonbury (Journ. 
B. A. A., xxxi. 390). 

- Ralph Paynell had instigated the Earl of Gloucester's raid on 
Nottingham the previous September (Cont. Flor. TFz'gr-, 128), and was one 
of the rebels in 1138, when he held Dudley against the king (ibid., 110). 
He was presumably identical with the "Rafl[ulfus] Paen[ellus] " of 1130 
(Bat. Pip , 31 Hen. I.). He witnessed the charter to Roger de Yaloines 
(see p. 286), and three other charters of the Empress (Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 
391, 39.% 398), including the creation of the earldom of Hereford (25 
July, 1111). 

' Walchelin Maminot had been among the witnesses to the above West- 
minster charters of (Easter) 1136, but had held Dover against the king in 
1138 (Ord. Vit, v. 310). when Ordericus (v. Ill, 112) speaks of him as a 
son-in-law of Robert de Ferrers (Earl of Derby). He witnessed the charter 
to Roger de Valoines (see p. 286), and five other charters of the Einprees 
(Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 388, 391, 394 his, 398), including the creation of 
the earldom of Hereford (25 July 1141), and he appears in the Pipe-Rolls 
and other records under Henry II. from 1155 to 1170. 

* Robert, natural son of Henry I. by Editli (afterwards married to Robert 
d'Oilli of Oxford), and uterine brother, as Mr. Eylon observes (Addl. MSS., 
31,943, fol. 115), '* to Henry d'Oilli of Hook-Norton." He appears in con- 
nection with Devonshire in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I., and is probably 
identical with Robert "brother" of Earl Reginald of Cornwall (vide ante. 
p. 82). He is mentioned as present (as " Robert fitz Edith ") at the siege 
of Winchester, a few weeks later (Sym. Dun., ii. 310), and he was among 
the witnesses to the Empress's charters (Oxford, 1142) to the earls of Oxford 
and of Essex, and to her charter (Devizes) to Geofi"rey de Mandeville the 
younger (vide post). He subsequently witnessed Henry II.'s charter (? 1156; 
to Henry de Oxenford (Cart. Ant, D, No. 42). See aLo Liber Niger. 
Working from misleading copies, Mr. Eyton wrongly identifies this Robert 
"filius Regis," as a witness to three charters of the Empress, with a Robert 
fitz B.egiitald (de Dunstanville) (History of Shropshire, ii. 271). 

* Robert fitz Martin occurs in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I. in conne tion 
with Dorset. Dugdale and Mr. Eyton (Addl. MSS., 31,943, fol. 90) affiliate 
him as son of a Martin of Tours, who had established himself in Wales. 
He witnessed two otlier charters of the Empress (Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 391, 
395), both of them at Oxford. A son of his (filius Roberti filii Martini) held 
five knights' fees of Glastonbury Abbey in 1166. 


(et Rob[ert]o fil[io] Heldebrand[i] ^ Apud Westmonas- 

One cannot but be greatly struck by the names of the 
witnesses to this charter. The legate and his four brother 
prelates, who had been with the Empress in Winchester, at 
her reception on March 3, are here with her again at West- 
minster. So are her three inseparable companions ; but 
where are the magnates of England ? Two west-country 
earls, one of them of her own making,^ and a few west- 

* Robert fitz- Hildebrand witnessed the Empress's second charter to 
Geoffrey with that to the Earl of Oxford {vide pod). See for Jiis adulter^-, 
treason, and shocking death (? 1143), Gesta Stephani, pp. 95, 96, where he 
is described as " virum plebeium quidem, sed militari virtute approbatum." 
He is also spoken of as "vir infimi generis, sed summse semper malitia^ 
machinator" (ibid., p. 93). He is aflSliated by the editors of Ordericns 
(Socicte de I'Histoire de France) as " Robert fils de Herbraud de Sauque- 
ville " (iii. 45, iv. 420), where also we learn that he had refused to embark 
upon the White Ship. He was perliops a brother of Richard fitz Hildebrand, 
who held five fees from the Abbot of Sherborne and five from the Bishop 
of Salisbury in 1166. 

^ As the closing names vary somewhat in the two transcripts, I give 
both versions : — 


" Rad Lond' et Rad' painel et W. " Rud lovell et Rad Painell et W. 

Maminot et Rob' fil. R. et Rob' fil. Maminotet Roberto filioR. etRolerio 
Martin et Rob' fil Heldebraud' apud filio Martin Robei to filio Baidehrandi 
Westmonasteiium." apud Oxford." 

The three last words are added 
in a different hand, and "Oxford" 
appears to have been substituted for 
" Westmr" by yet another hand. 
' William de Moiun (Mohun) had attested eo nomine tlie charter to 
Glastonbury (Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 389 ; Adam de Domerham) which pro- 
bably passed soon after the election of the Empress (April 8) at Winchester 
(see p. 83). He now attests, among the earls, as " Comite Willelmo de 
Moion." This fixes his creation as April — June, 1141. Courthope gives no 
date for the creation, and no authority but his foundation-charter to Bruton, 
in which he styles himself "Comes Somersetensis." Dr. Stubbs, following 
him, o-ives (under " dates and authorities for the empress's earldoms ") no 
date and no further authority (Const. Hist, i. 362). Mr. Maxwell Lyte, in 
his learned and valuable monograph on Vunster and its Lords (1882), quotes 
the Gesta Stephani for the fact " that at the siege of Winchester, in 1140, 
the empress bestowed on William de Mohun the title of Earl of Dorset " 
(p. 6). But Winchester was besieged in (August — September) 1141, not in 


country barons virtuallyl complete the list. I do not say 
that these ^Yere, of necessity, the sole constituents of her 
court ; but there is certainly the strongest possible presump- 
tion that had she been joined in person by any number of 
bishops or nobles, we should not have found so important 
a charter witnessed merely b}^ the members of the entourage 
that she had brought up with her from the west. We 
have, for instance, but to compare this list with that of 
the witnesses to Stephen's charter six months later. ^ Or, 
indeed, we may compare it, to some disadvantage, with 
that of the Empress herself a month later at Oxford.^ 
"Where were the primate and the Bishop of London? 
Where was the King of Scots ? These questions are 
difficult to answer. It may, however, be suggested that 
the general disgust at her intolerable arrogance,^ and her 
harshness to the king,^ kept the magnates from attending 
her court. ^ Her inability to repel the queen's forces, and 

1140, aud though the writer does speak of " Willelmus de Mohun, quein 
comitem ibi statuit Dorsetias " (p. 81), this charter proves that he postdates 
the creation, as he also does tljat of Hereford, -which he assigns to the same 
siege (cf. pp. 125, n., 191)- Mr. Doyle, with his usual painstaking care, places 
the creation (on the same authority) " before September, 1141 " (which 
happens, it will be seen, to be quite correct), and assigns his use of the above 
style ("comes Somersetensis ") to 1142. See also, on this point, p. 277 infra. 

» Seep. 143. 

2 The grant of the earldom of Hereford to Miles of Gloucester. 

' "Erecta est autem in superbiam intolerabileui . . . et omnium fere 
corda a se alienavit " {Hen. Hunt., 275). 

* " Interpellavit dominam Anglorum regina pro domino suo rege capto et 
custodise ac vinculis maucipato. Interpellata quoque est pro eadem causa 
et a majoribus sen primoribus Angliae ; ... at ilia nou exaudivit eos " 
{Cont. Flor. Wig., 132). 

^ All this, however, is subject to the assumption that this charter passed 
at Westminster. That assumption rests on Dug.lale's transcript and his state- 
ment to that effect in his Baronage. There is nothing in the charter 
(except, of course, the above diflSculty) inconsistent with this statement, 
which is strongly supported by tiie Valoines charter ; but, imfortunately, 
the transcript I have quoted from gives Oxford as the place of testing. But, 
then, the word {vide supra) appears to have been added in a later hand, 
and may have been inserted from confusion with the Empress's second charter 
to Geoffrey, which did pass at Oxford. Still, there is no actual reason why 


her instant flight before the Londoners, are alike sugges- 
tive of the fact that her followers were comparatively few. 

There are several points of constitutional importance 
upon which this instructive charter sheds some welcome 

In the first place we should compare it with Stephen's 
charter (p. 51), to which, in Mr. Eyton's words, it forms 
the ** counter-patent."^ In the former the words of 
creation are : "■ Sciatis me fecisse comitem de Gaufredo," 
etc. In the charter of the Empress they run thus : 
** Sciatis . . . quod . . . do et concedo Gaufredo de Magna- 
villa . . . ut sit Comes," etc. This contrast is in itself 
conclusive as to the earldom having been first created by 
Stephen and then recognized by the Empress. This being 
so, it is the more strange that Mr. Eyton should have 
arrived at the contrary conclusion, especially as he noticed 
the stronger form in the charter creating the earldom of 
Hereford ('' Sciatis me fecisse Milonem de Glocestria Comi- 
tem "), a form corresponding with that in Stephen's 
charter to Geoffrey. The earldom of Hereford being 
created by the Empress, as that of Essex had been by 
Stephen, we find the same formula duly employed by both. 
The distinction thus established is one of considerable 

The special grant of the 'Hertius denarius " is a point 
of such extreme interest in its bearing on earls and 
earldoms that it requires to be separately discussed in a 
note devoted to the subject.^ 

But without dwelling at greater length upon the peerage 
aspect of this charter, let us see how it illustrates the 

this charter may not have passed at Oxford, though its subject makes West- 
minster, perhaps, the more likely place of the two. Personally, I feel no 
doubt whatever that Westminster was the place. 

^ See p. 42. 

' See Appendix H : " The Tertius Denarius." 



ambitious policy pursued in this struggle by the feudal 
nobles. Dr. Stubbs writes : — 

" It is possible that the frequent tergiversations which mark the 
struggle may have been caused by the desire of obtaining confirmation 
of the rank [of earl] from both the competitors for the crown." ^ 

But it is my contention that Geoffrey and his fellows 
were playing a deeper game. We find each successive 
change of side on the part of this unscrupulous magnate 
marked by a distinct advance in his demands and in the 
price he obtained. Broadly speaking, he was master of 
the situation, and he put himself and his fortress up to 
auction. Thus he obtained from the impassioned rivals 
a rapid advance at each bid. Compare, for instance, this 
charter with that he had obtained from Stephen, or, 
again, compare it with those which are to follow. 

The very length of this charter, as compared with 
Stephen's, is significant enough in itself. But its details 
are far more so. Stephen's grant had not explicitly 
included the tertius denarius ; the Empress grants him the 
tertius denarius " sicut comes habere debet in comitatu 
suo." ^ But what may be termed the characteristic 
features are to be found in such clauses as those dealing 
with the license to fortify, and with the grants of lands. ^ 
These latter, indeed, teem with information, not only for 
the local, but for the general historian, as in the case of 
Theobald's forfeiture. But their special information is 
rather in the light they throw on the nature of these grants, 
and on the sources from which the Empress, like her rival, 
strove to gratify the greed of these insatiable nobles. 

Foremost among these were those " extravagant grants 

1 Const Hist, i. 362. 

* This, however, raises the question of comital rights, on which see 
pp. 143, 169, 269, and Appendix H. 

' Cf. William of Malmesbury : "Hi praedia, hi castella, postremo quse- 
cunque semel coUibuisset, petere non verebantur." 


of Crown lands " spoken of by Dr. Stubbs and by Gneist.^ 
Now, in this charter, and in those which follow, we are 
enabled to trace the actual working of this fatal policy in 
practice. The Empress begins, in this charter, by grant- 
ing Geoffrey, for this is its effect, ^100 a year in land 
("C libratas terrse "). Stephen, we shall find, a few 
months later, regains him to his side by increasing the 
bid to £300 a year (" CCC libratas terrae "). But how is the 
amount made up ? It is charged on the Crown lands in 
his own county of Essex. But observe, for this is an 
important point, that it is not charged as a lump sum on 
the entire corpus comitatus (or, to speak more exactly, on 
the annual fir ma of that corpus), but on certain specified 
estates. Here we have a welcome allusion to the practice 
of the early Exchequer. The charter authorizes Geoffrey, 
as sheriff, to deduct from the annual ferm of the county, 
for which he was responsible at the Exchequer (being that 
recorded on the Rotulus exactorius), that portion of it 
represented by the annual rents (redditus) of Maldon and 
Newport, which, as estates of Crown demesne, had till 
then been included in the corpus.^ From the earliest 
Pipe-Rolls now remaining we know that the estates so 
alienated were usually entered by the sheriff under the 
head of '' Terras Datw,'' with the amount due from each, 
for which amounts, of course, he claimed allowance in his 
account. I think we have here at least a suggestion that 
even at the height of the anarchy and of the struggle, 
the Exchequer, with all the details of its practice, was 
recognized as in full existence. I have never been able 

* See also Mr, S. R. Bird's valuable essay on the Crown Lands in vol. 
xiii. of the Antiquary. He refers (p. 160) to the "extensive alienations of 
these lands during the turbulent reign of Stephen, in order to enable that 
monarch to endow the new earldoms." 

* " Quod auferat de summa firma vicecomitatus quantum pertinuerit ad 
Meldouam et Niweport que ei donavi." 


to reconcile myself to the accepted view, as set forth by 
Dr. Stubbs, of the *' stoppage of the administrative 
machinery " ^ under Stephen. He holds that on the arrest 
of the bishops (June, 1139) "the whole administration 
of the country ceased to work," and that Stephen was 
*' never able to restore the administrative machinery."^ 
Crippled and disorganized though it doubtless was, the 
Exchequer, I contend, must have preserved its existence, 
because its existence was an absolute necessity. Without 
an exchequer, the income of the Crown would, obviously, 
have instantly disappeared. Moreover, the case of 
William of Ypres, and others to which reference will be 
made below, will go far to establish the important fact 
that the Exchequer system remained in force, and that 
accounts of some kind must have been kept. 

The next point to which I would call attention is the 
expression *' pro tanto quantum inde reddi solebat die qua 
Bex Henricus fuit vivus et mortuus," which is applied 
to Maldon and Newport. The Pipe-Rolls, it should be 
remembered, only took cognizance of the total ferm of 
the shire. The constituents of that ferm were a matter 
for the sheriff. At first sight, therefore, these expressions 
might seem to cause some difficulty. Their explanation, 
however, is this. Just as I have shown in Domesday 
Studies ^ that the ferm of a town, as in the case of Hunting- 
don, was in truth the aggregate of several distinct and 
separate ferms, so the ferm of a county must have com- 
prised the separate and distinct ferms of each of the royal 
estates. That ferm would be a customary, that is, fixed, 
redditus (or, as the charter expresses it, " quantum inde 
reddi solebat"). A particularly striking case in point is 
afforded by Hatfield Eegis {alias Hatfield Broadoak). 
When Stephen increased the alienation of Crown demesne 

' Select Charters. ' Const. Eist, i. 326, 327. 

• Domesday Studies, vol. i. ("Lopgmans). 1887. 


to Geoffrey, he granted him Hatfield inter alia ''pro 
quater xx libris," that is, as representing £80 a year. 
This same estate, after the fall of Geoffrey, was alienated 
anew to Richard de Luci, and in the early Pipe-Rolls of 
Henry II. we read, under ''Terras Datse " in Essex, 
"Ricardo de Luci quater xx librae numero in Hadfeld." 
That is to say, in his annual account, the sheriff claimed 
to be allowed £80 off the amount of his ferm, in respect 
of the alienated estate. Now, the Domesday valuation of 
this manor is fortunately very precise : " Tunc Manerium 
valuit xxxvi libras. Modo Ix. Sed vicecomes recipit inde 
Ixxx libras et c sjlidos de gersuma " (ii. 2 b). The 
Domesday redditus of the manor, therefore, had remained 
absolutely unchanged. In such cases of alienation of 
demesne, it was, obviously, the object of the grantee that 
the manor should be valued as low as possible, while that 
of the sheriff was precisely the reverse. It was on this 
account doubtless, to prevent dispute, that these charters 
carefully named the sum at which the manor was to be 
valued, either in figures, as in the case of Bonhunt,^ or, as 
in that of Maldon and Newport, in the formula "quantum 
inde reddi solebat" at the death of Henry I., this for- 
mula probably implying that the earlier ferm had been 
forced up in the days of the Lion of Justice. 

The conclusion I would draw from the above argument 
is that the sheriff was not at liberty to exact arbitrary 
sums from the demesne lands of the Crown. A fixed 
annual render {redditus) was due to him from each, though 
this, like the Jirma of the sheriff himself, was liable to 
revision from time to time.^ 

* It is in this case alone, in the Empress's charter, that we can compare 
the value with that in Domesday. The charter grants it " pro xl solidis." 
In Domesday we read "Tunc et post valuit xl solidos. Modo Iv" (ii. 93). 

^ See an illustration of this principle, some years later, in the Chronicle 
of Kamsey (p. 287): " Sciatis me concessisse Abbati de Rameseia ut ad 


But it would be difficult to overestimate the importance 
of evidence which forms a connecting link between Domes- 
day and the period of the Pipe-Eolls, especially if it throws 
some fresh light on the vexed question of Domesday 
values. Moreover, we have here an obvious suggestion as 
to the purpose of the Conqueror in ascertaining values, at 
least so far as concerned the demesne lands of the Crown, 
for he was thus enabled to check the sheriffs, by obtaining 
a basis for calculating the amount of the firma comitatus. 
With this point we shall have to deal when we come to 
Geoffrey's connection with the shrievalty of Essex and 

Attention may also be called to the formula of 
''excambion" (as the Scottish lawyers term it) here 
employed, for it would seem to be earlier than any of 
those quoted in Madox's Formidarium. But the suggested 
exchange is specially interesting in the case of Count 
Theobald, because it gives us an historical fact not else- 
where mentioned, namely, that the Empress, on obtaining 
the mastery, forfeited his lands at once. Her doing 
so, we should observe, is in strict accordance with the 
chroniclers' assertions as to her wholesale forfeitures and 
her special hostility to Stephen's house. And we can go 
further still. We can ascertain not only that Count 
Theobald was forfeited, as we have seen, by the Empress, 
but also that the land she forfeited had been given him 
by Stephen himself. In a document which I have 
previously referred to, we read that Stephen had given 
him the ''manor" of Maldon,^ being that manor of Crown 
demesne which the Empress here bestows upon Geoffrey. 

firmam habeat hundredum de Hyrstintan reddendo inde quoque anno 
quatuor marcas argenti, quicunque sit vicecomes ita ne vicecomes plus ab eo 

* "Die qua dedi Manerium illud [de Meldona] Comiti Theobaldo." — 
Westminster Abbey Charters (Madox's Baronio, p. 232, note). 


Another important though difficult subject upon which 
this charter bears is that of knight-service. Indeed, 
considering its early date — a quarter of a century earlier 
than the returns contained in the Liber Niger — it may, 
in conjunction with Stephen's charter of some six 
months later, be pronounced to be among our most 
valuable evidences for what Dr. Stubbs describes as "a 
subject on which the greatest obscurity prevails." ^ 

Let us first notice that the Empress grants *' feodum 
et servicium xx militum," while Stephen grants **lx 
milites feudatos . . . scilicet servicium " of so and so 
" pro [lx] militibus." Thus, then, the *' milites feudatos " 
of Stephen equates the ''feodum et servicium . . . mili- 
tum" of the Empress. And, further, it rejDeats the 
remarkable expression employed by Florence of Worcester 
when he tells us that the Conqueror instructed the Domes- 
day Commissioners to ascertain " quot milites feudatos" 
his tenants-in-chief possessed, that is to say, how many 
knights they had enfeoffed. But the Empress in her 
charter complicates her grant by adding the special 
clause: ''Et servicium istorum xx militum faciet mihi 
separatim preter aliud servicium alterius feodi sui." 
Had it not been for this clause, one might have inferred 
that the object of the grant was to transfer to Earl 
Geoffrey the "servicium" of these twenty knights' fees 
due, of right, to the Crown, so that he might enjoy all 
such profits as the Crown would have derived from that 
*' servicium," and, at the same time, have employed these 
knights as substitutes for those which he was bound to 
furnish, from his own fief, to the Crown. But the above 
clause is fatal to such a view. Again, both in the charters 

^ Const. Hist., i. 260. See my articles on the " lutroJuctioa of Knight 
Service into England " in English Eistorical Review, July and October, 1891, 
January, 1892. See also Addenda (p. 439). 


of the Empress and of her rival, these special grants of 
knights and their ''servicium " are kept entirely distinct 
from those of Crown demesne or escheated land, which, 
moreover, are expressed in terms of the *'librata terraB." 
On the whole I lean strongly to the belief that, although 
the working of the arrangement may be obscure, the 
object of Geoffrey was to add to the number of the knightq 
who followed his standard, and thus to increase his power 
as a noble and the weight that he could throw into the 
scale. And the special clause referred to above would 
imply that the Crown was to have a claim on him for 
twenty knights more than those whom he was bound to 
furnish from his own fief. 

Lastly, we may note the identity of the formula 
employed for the grant of lands and for that of knights' 
service. In each case the grant is made "pro tanto," ^ 
and in each case the EmjDress undertakes to make good 
("perficere") the balance to him within the limit of the 
three counties of Essex, Cambridgeshire, and Herts.^ 

With the subject of castles I propose to deal later 
on. But there is one point on which the evidence of 
this charter is perhaps more important than on any 
other, and that is in the retrospective light which it 
throws on the system of reform introduced by the first 

Incidentally, we have here witness to that system, of 
which the Pipe-Koll of 1130 is the solitary but vivid 

* The lands were granted " pro tanto quantum inde reddi solebat," and 
the knights' service (of Graaland de Tany) " pro tanto servicii quantum de 
feodo illo debent," which amount is given in Stephen's charter as 1\ knights' 
service (as also in the Liber Niger). 

* " Et si quid defuerit ad C libratas perficiendas, perficiam ei in loco 
competenti in Essexia aut in Hertfordescira aut in Cantebriggscira . . . . et 
totum superplus istorum xx. militum ei perficiam in prenominatis tribua 


exponent, and under which the very name of '' plea " 
became a terror to all men. Every man was liable, on 
the slightest pretext, to be brought within the meshes 
of the law, with the object, as it seemed, and at least 
with the result, of swelling the royal hoard (cf. pp. 11, 12, 
n. 1). Even to secure one's simplest rights money had 
always to be paid. Thus, here, Geoffrey stipulates that 
he and his men are to hold their possessions ** sine placito," 
and " ita quod . . . non ponantur in ullo modo in placito 
de aliquo forisfacto," etc., etc. So again, in his later 
charter, we find him insisting that he and they shall hold 
all their possessions *'sine placito et sine pecuniae dona- 
tione," and that *' Rectum eis teneatur de eorum calump- 
niis sine pecuniae donatione." The exactions he dreaded 
meet us at every turn on the Pipe-Roll of 1130. 

But, on the other hand, the charter, broadly speaking, 
illustrates, by the retrograde concessions it extorts, the 
cardinal factor in the long struggle between the feudal 
nobles and their lord the king, namely, their jealousy of 
that royal jurisdiction by which the Crown strove, and 
eventually with success, to break their semi-independent 
power, and to bring the whole realm into uniform sub- 
jection to the law. 

After the clauses conferring on Geoffrey the hereditary 
shrievalty of Essex, a matter which I shall discuss further 
on, there immediately follows this passage, the most 
significant, as I deem it, in the whole charter : — 

" Et ut sit Capitalis Justicia in Essexia hereditabiliter mea et here- 
dura meorum de placitis et forisfactis que pertinuerint ad coronam 
meam, ita quod non mittam aliam justiciara super eum in comitatn 
illo nisi ita sit quod aliquando mittam aliquem de paribus suis qui 
audiat cum illo quod placita mea juste tractentur." 

The first point to be dealt with here is the phrase 
** Capitalis Justicia in Essexia." Here we have the 


term '' capitalis " applied to the jiisticia of a single 
county. On this I would lay some stress, for it has been 
generally supposed that this style was reserved for the 
Great Justiciary, the alter ego of the king himself.^ 

In his learned observations on the *' obscurities " of 
the style '^justitia or justitiarius,'' Dr. Stubbs writes that 
** the capitalis justitia seems to be the only one of the 
body to whom a determinate position as the king's repre- 
sentative is assigned in formal documents" (i. 389). It 
was probably the object of Geoffrey, when he secured this 
particular style, to obtain for himself all the powers vested 
in "the king's representative," and so to provide against 
his supersession by a justiciar claiming in that capa'city. 

Let us now examine the witness of the charter to the 
differentiation of the sheriff {vicecomes) and the justice 
(justitia), for that is the development which its terms 

Dr. Stubbs points out that, under the Norman kings, 
'* the authority of the sheriff, when he was relieved from 
the company of the ealdorman, . . . would have no check 
except the direct control of the king" (i. 272); and 
Gneist similarly observed that " After the withdrawal of 
the eorl, the Anglo-Saxon shir-gerefa became the regular 
governor of the county, who was henceforth no longer de- 
pendent upon the eorl, but upon the personal orders of 

^ Dr. stubbs writes : " From the reign of Henry I. we have distinct 
traces of a judicial system, a supreme court of justice, called the Curia Regis, 
presided over by the king or justiciary, and containing other judges also 
called justiciars, the chief being occasionally distinguished by the title of 
' summus,' ' magnus,* or * capitalis ' " {Const. Hist., i. 377). But, in another 
place, he points out, of the Great Justiciar, Roger of Salisbury, that " several 
other ministers receive the same name {justitiarius] even during the time at 
which he was actually in office ; even the title of capitalis justitiarius is 
given to officers of the Curia Regis who were acting in subordination to 
him " (i. 350). Of this he gives instances in point (i. 389). On the whole 
it is safest, perhaps, to hold, as Dr. Stubbs suggested, that the style " capi- 
talis " was not reserved to the Great Justiciar alone till the reign of Henry 
II. (i. 350). 


the king, and upon the organs of the Norman central ad- 
ministration " (i. 140). And for a period of transition 
between the two systems, the Anglo-Saxon and the late 
Norman, the sheriff not only presided, in his court, as its 
sole lay head, but also in a dual capacity. Dr. Stubbs, it 
is true, with his wonted caution, does but suggest it as 
"probable that whilst the sheriff in his character of 
sheriff was competent to direct the customary business 
of the court, it was in that of justitia that he transacted 
special business under the king's writ." ^ But Gneist 
treats of him, under a separate heading, in his capacity 
of " royal justiciary " (i. 142). It is from this dual posi- 
tion that there developed, by specialization of function, 
two distinct officers, the sheriff (vicecomes) and the 
justice {justicia). This is the development which, as yet, 
has been somewhat imperfectly apprehended. 

The centralizing policy of Henry I., operating through 
the Curia Regis, has, I need hardly observe, been admirably 
explained by Dr. Stubbs. He has shown how two methods 
were employed to attain the end in view : the one, to call 
up certain pleas from the local courts to the curia ; the 
other, to send down the officers of the curia to sit in the 
local courts.^ In the latter case, the royal officer ("jus- 
ticia ") appeared as the representative of the central 
power of which the Curia Regis was the exponent. Thus, 
there were, again, for the county court two lay presidents, 
but they were now the sheriff, as local authority, and the 
justice, who represented the central. Such an arrange- 
ment was, of course, a step in advance for the Crown, 
which had thus secured for itself, through its justice, a 
footing in the local courts.^ But with this arrangement 

■ Const. Hist.f i. 389, note. 

* See Appendix I. 

' I cannot quite understand Gneist's view that " A better spirit is infused 


neither side was able to rest satisfied. Broadly speaking, 
if I may be allowed the expression, the Crown sought to 
centralize the sheriff, and to exclude the local element ; 
the feudatories would fain have localized the justice, and 
so have excluded the central. Thus, before the close of 
Henry's reign, he had actually employed on a large scale 
the officers of his curia as sheriffs of counties, and "by 
these means," as Dr. Stubbs observes, " the king and 
justiciar kept in their hands the reins of the entire judicial 
administration " (i. 392).^ The same policy was faithfully 
followed by his grandson, a generation later, on the occa- 
sion of the inquest of sheriffs (1170), when, says Dr. 
Stubbs, '' the sheriffs removed from their offices were most 
of them local magnates, whose chances of oppression and 
whose inclination towards a feudal administration of 
justice were too great. In their place Henry instituted 
officers of the Exchequer, less closely connected with the 
counties by property, and more amenable to royal in- 
fluence, as well as more skilled administrators — another 
step towards the concentration of the provincial jurisdiction 
under the Curia Regis.'' '^ 

into this portion of the legal administration by the severance of the farm- 
interest (Jirma) from the judicial functions, which was effected by the 
appointment of royal justitiarii in the place of the viceeomes. The reser- 
■vation of the royal right of interference now develops into a periodical 
delegation of matters to criminal judges" (i. 180). It is probable that this 
eminent jurist has a right conception of the change, and that, if it is 
obscured, it is only by his mode of expression. But, when arguing from the 
laws of Cnut and of Henry, as to pleas " in firma," he might, if one may 
venture to say so, have added the higher evidence of Domesday. There are 
several passages in tlie Great Survey bearing upon this subject, of which the 
most noteworthy is, I think, this, which is found in the passage on Shrews- 
bury : — " Siquis pacem regis mauu propria datam scienter infringebat utlagus 
fiebat. Qui vero pacem regis a vicecomite datam infringebat, C solidos 
emendabat, et tantundem dabat qui Forestel vel Heinfare faciebat. Has 
Hi forisfacturas habebat in dominio rex E. in orani Anglia extra firmas " 
(i. 152). 

' See Appendix I : " Vicecomites " and " Custodes." 

- Select Charters, 141. 


This passage enables us to see how essentially contrary 
to the policy of the Crown were the provisions of Geoffrey's 
charter. It not only feudalized the local shrievalty by 
placing it in the hands of a feudal magnate, and, further 
still, making it hereditary, but it seized upon the central- 
izing office of justice, and made it as purely local, nay, as 
feudal as the other. 

But let us return to the point from which we started, 
namely, the witness of Geoffrey's charter to the differen- 
tiation of the sheriff and the justice. It proves that the 
sheriff could no longer discharge the functions of *' a royal 
justiciary," without a separate appointment to that distinct 
office. When we thus learn how Geoffrey became both 
sheriff and justice of Essex, we can approach in the light 
of that appointment the writ addressed " Ricardo de Luci 
Justic' et Vicecomiti de Essexa," on which Madox relies 
for Richard's tenure of the post of chief justiciary.^ It 
may be that Richard's appointment corresponded with that 
of Geoffrey. But whatever uncertainty there may be on 
this point, there can be none on the parallel between 
Geoffrey's charter and that which Henry I. granted to the 
citizens of London. Indeed, in all municipal charters of 
the fullest and best type, we find the functions of the 
sheriff and the justice dealt with in the same successive 
order. The striking thought to be drawn from this is that 
the feudatories and the towns, though their interests were 
opposed inter se, presented to the Crown the same attitude 
and sought from it the same exemptions. In proof of 
this I here adduce three typical charters, arranged in 
chronological order. The first is an extract from that 
important charter which London obtained from Henry I., 
the second is taken from Geoffrey's charter, and the third 

' Foss's Judges, i. 145, 


from that of Eicbard I. to Colchester, which I quote 
because it contains the same word "justicia," and also 
because it is, probably, little, if at all, known. 

Charter of 

Henry I. 

TO London. 

" Ipsi cives ponent 
vicecomitem qualem 
voluerint de se ipsis, 
etjustitiarium qualem 
voluerint de se ipsis 
ad custodiendum pla- 
cita coronae meae et 
eadem placitanda ; et 
nullus alius erit 
Justitiarius super 
ipsos homines Lon- 

Charter op 
THE Empress 
to Geoffrey. 

" Concedo ei et 
heredibus suis . . . 
vicecomitatum Essexie. 
Et ut sit Capitalis 
Justicia . . . de pla- 
citis et forisfactis que 
pertinuerint ad coro- 
nam meam, ita quod 
non mittam aliam 
Justiciam super eum 
in comitatu illo," etc. 

Charter of 


TO Colchester. 

" Ipsi ponant de se 
ipsis Ballivos quoscun- 
que voluerint et Jus- 
ticiam ad servanda 
placita Coronae nostras 
et ad placitanda 
eadem placita infra 
Burgum suum et 
quod nullus alius sit- 
inde Justicia nisi 
quern elegerint." 

Here we have the two offices similarly distinct through- 
out. We have also the ballivi, representing to the town 
what the vicecomes represents to the shire, a point which 
it is necessary to bear in mind. The " bailiff," so far as 
the town was concerned, stood in the sheriff's shoes. So 
also did the "coroner" (or "coroners") in those of the 
justice. Indeed, at Colchester, two *' coroners " represented 
the "justice" of the charter. I cannot find that Dr. 
Stubbs calls attention to the fact of this twin privilege, 
the fact that exemption from the sheriff and from the 
justice went, in these charters, hand in hand. 

Lastly, we should observe that though, in these charters, 
the clause relating to the sheriff precedes that which 
relates to the justice, yet, conversely, in the enumeration 
of those to whom a charter is directed, "justices" are 
invariably, I believe, given the precedence of " sheriffs." 
This, which would seem to have passed unnoticed, may 
have an important bearing. Ordericus, in a famous 


passage (xi. 2) describing Henry's ministers, tells us how 

the king 

" favorabiliter illi obsequentes de ignobili stirpe illustraYit, de pulvere, 
lit ita dicam.. extulit, dataque multiplici facultate suiter consules et 
illustres oppidanos exaltavit. . . . Illos . . . rex, cum de infimo genere 
assent, nobilitavit, regali auctoritate de imo erexit, in fastigio potesta- 
tum constituit, ipsis etiam spectabilibus regni principibus formidabiles 

Observe how vivid a light such a passage as this throws 
upon the clause in Geoffrey's charter : — 

"Non mittam aliam Justiciam swper eum in Comitatu illo, nisi 
ita sit quod ahquando mittam aliquem de paribus suis qui audiat cum 
illo quod placita mea juste tractentur." 

The whole clause breathes the very spirit of feudalism. 
It betrays the hatred of Geoffrey and his class for those 
upstarts, as they deemed them, the royal justices, who, 
clad in all the authority of the Crown, intruded themselves 
into their local courts and checked them in the exercise 
of their power. Henceforth, in the courts of the favoured 
earl, the representative of the Crown was to make his 
appearance not regularly, but only now and then (" ali- 
quando ") ; moreover, when he came, he was to figure in 
court not as the superior (** super eum"), but as the 
colleague ("cum illo ") of the earl; and, lastly, he was not 
to belong to the upstart ministerial class : he was to be 
one of his own class — of his ** peers" (*' de paribus suis "). 

As an illustrative parallel to this clause, I am tempted 
to quote a remarkable charter, unnoticed, it would seem, 
not only by our historians, but even by Mr. Eyton him- 
self. The Assize of Clarendon, a quarter of a century 
(1166) after the date of our charter to Geoffrey, contained 
clauses specially aimed against such exemption as he 
sought. Kef erring to these clauses. Dr. Stubbs writes : — 

"" No franchise is to exclude the justices. ... In the article which 
directs the admission of the justices into every franchise may be 


detected one sign of the anti-feudal policy which the king had all his 
life to maintain." ^ 

But the clauses in question, though their sweeping cha- 
racter fully justifies this description,^ contrast strangely 
with the humble, almost apologetic, charter in which 
Henry II., immediately afterwards, announces that he is 
only sending his " justicia " into the patrimony of St. 
Cuthbert ''by permission" of the bishop, and as a quite 
exceptional measure, not to be taken again. It throws, 
perhaps, some new light on the character and methods 
of the king, when we find him thus stooping, in form, to 
gain his point in fact. 

'' Henricus Eex Angl' et Dux Normann' et Aquitan' 
et Comes Andegav', justiciariis Yicecomitibus et omnibus 
ministris suis de Eborac'sir et de Nordhummerlanda 
salutem. Sciatis quod consilio Baronum meorum,^ et 
Episcopi Dunelmensis licencia, mitto hac vice in terram 
sancti Cuthberti justiciam meam, quae^ videat ut fiat 
justicia secundum assisam meam de latronibus et murdra- 
toribus et roboratoribus ; ^ non quia velim ut trahatur in 
consuetudinem tempore meo vel heredum meorum, sed 
ad tempus hoc facio, pro prsedicta necessitate ; quia volo 
quod terra beati Cuthberti suas habeat libertates et 
antiquas consuetudines, sicut unquam melius habuit. T. 
Gavfrido Archiepiscopo [^sic] Cant. Kic. Arch. Pictav. 
Comite Gaufrido, Kicardo de Luci. Apud Wodestoc."^ 

» Comt. Hist, 1. 470. 

' " Nulli sint in civitate vel burgo vel castello, vel extra, nee in honors 
etiara de "Walingeford, qui vetent vicecomites [sic] intrare in terram suam 
vel socam suam." Strictly speaking, this refers to sheriffs, but a fortiori it 
■would apply to the king's "justicia." 

• The Assize of Clarendon describes itself as passed " de consilio omnium 
baronum suorum." 

♦ Notice the "justicia . . . quae videat," as answering to the "aliquis 
. . . qui audiat" in Geoffrey's charter. 

* These are the words of the Assize itself, which deals throughout with 
" robatores," ** murdratores," and " latrones." 

• This charter is limited, by the names of the witnesses, to 1163-1166. 


The first charter of the Empress has now been 
sufficiently discussed. It was, of course, his possession 
of the Tower that enabled Geoffrey to extort such terms, 
the command of that fortress being essential to the 
Empress, to overawe the disaffected citizens. 

It can only, therefore, refer to the Assize of Clarendon, which conclusion is 
confirmed by its language. It must consequently have been granted imme- 
diately after it, before the king left England in March. Observe that the 
two last witnesses ate the very justices who were entrusted with the execu- 
tion of the Assize, and that " Earl Geoffrey," by the irony of fate, was no 
other than the son and successor of Geoffrey de Mandeville himself. 

( 114 ) 



It was at the very hour when the Empress seemed to have 
attained the height of her triumph that her hopes were 
dashed to the ground.^ The disaster, as is well known, 
was due to her own behaviour. As Dr. Stubbs has well 
observed, " She, too, was on the crest of the wave and 
had her little day . . . she had not learned wisdom or 
conciliation, and threw away opportunities as recklessly 
as her rival." ^ Indeed, even William of Malmesbury 
hints that the fault was hers.^ 

The Queen, having pleaded in vain for her husband, 
resolved to appeal to arms. Advancing on Southwark 
at the head of the forces which she had raised from Kent, 
and probably from Boulogne, she ravaged the lands of 
the citizens with fire and sword before their eyes.* The 

' " Ecce, dum ipsa putaretur omni Anglia statim posse potiri, mutata 
omnia" (Will. Malms., p. 749). 

^ Early Plantagenets, p. 22 ; Const. Hist., i. 330. 

^ " Satisque constat quod si ejus (ie. comitis) moderationi et sapientiae a 
suis esset creditum, non tarn sinistrum postea sensissent aleae casum " (p. 749). 

* " Eegina quod prece non valuit, armis impetrare coufidens, splendidissi- 
mum militantium decus ante Londonias, ex altera fluvii regione, transmisit, 
utque raptu, et ineendio, violentia, et gladio, in comitissse suorumqiie pro- 
spectu, ardentissime circa civitatem dessevirent prsecepit " (Gesta Stephani, 
p. 78). These expressions appear to imply that she not only wasted the 
southern bank, but sent over (transmisit) her troops to plunder round the 
walls of the city itself (circa civitatem). Mr. Pt arson strangely assigns 
this action not to the Queen, but to the Empress : " INIatilda brought up 
troops, and cut off the trade of the citizens, and wasted their lands, to 
punish their disaffection " (p. 478). 


citizens, who had received the Empress but grudgingly, 
and were already alarmed by her haughty conduct, were 
now reduced to desperation. They decided on rising 
against their new mistress, and joining the Queen in her 
struggle for the restoration of the king.^ There is a 
stirring picture in the Gesta of the sudden sounding of 
the tocsin, and of the citizens pouring forth from the 
gates amidst the clanging of the bells. The Empress was 
taken so completely by surprise that she seems to have 
been at table at the time, and she and her followers, 
mounting in haste, had scarcely galloped clear of the 
suburbs when the mob streamed into her quarters and 
rifled them of all that they contained. So great, we are 
told, was the panic of the fugitives that they scattered 
in all directions, regardless of the Empress and her fate. 
Although the Gesta is a hostile source, the evidence of 
its author is here confirmed by that of the Continuator 
of Florence.^ William of Malmesbury, however, writing 
as a partisan, will not allow that the Empress and her 
brother were thus ignominiously expelled, but asserts 
that they withdrew in military array.^ 

The Empress herself fled to Oxford, and, afraid to 
remain even there, pushed on to Gloucester. The king, 
it is true, was still her prisoner, but her followers were 
almost all dispersed ; and the legate, who had secured her 
triumph, was alienated already from her cause. Expelled 

* The Annals of Plympton (ed. Liebermann, p. 20) imply that the cify 
was divided on the subject : — " In mense Junio facta est sedicio in civitate 
Londoniensi a civibus; sed tamen pars sanior vices imperatricis agebat, 
pars vero quedam earn obpugnabat." 

^ " Facta conjuratione adversus earn qaam cum honore susceperunt, cum 
dedecore apprehendere statuerunt. At ilia a quodam civium prsemunita, 
ignominiosam cum suis fugam arripuit omui sua suorumque supellectili post 
tergum relicta." 

^ " Sensira sine tumultu quadam militari disciplina urbe cesserunt." This 
is clearly intended to rebut the story of their hurried flight (see also p. 132, 


from the capital, and resisted in arms by no small 
portion of the kingdom, her prestige had received a fatal 
blow, and the moment for her coronation had passed 
away, never to return.^ 

Here we may pause to glance for a moment at a 
charter of singular interest for its mention of the citizens 
of London and their faithful devotion to the king. 

" Hugo del gratia Rothomagensis archiepiscopus senatoribus inditis 
civibus honoratis et omnibus commune London concordie gratiam, 
salutem eternam. Deo et vobis agimus gratias pro vestra fidelitate 
stabili et certa domino nostro regi Stephano jugiter impensa. Inde 
per regiones notse vestra nobilitas virtus et potestas." ^ 

It is tempting to see in this charter — unknown, it 
would seem, to the historians of London — a mention of 
the famous ''communa," the ** tumor plebis, timor regni," 
of 1191. But the term, here, is more probably employed, 
as in the " communa liberorum hominum " of the Assize 
of Arms (1181), and the *' communa totius terre " of the 
Great Charter (1215). At the same time, there are two 
expressions which occur at this very epoch, and which 
might support the former view. One is conjuratio, which, 
as we have seen, the Continuator applies to the action 
of the Londoners in 1141,^ and which Eichard of Devizes 
similarly applies to the commune of 1191.^ The other 
is communio, which William of Malmesbury applies to 
their government in the previous April, and which the 
keen eye of Dr. Stubbs noted as "a description of 
municipal unity which suggests that the communal idea 
was already in existence as a basis of civil organization."^ 
But he failed, it would seem, to observe the passage 

' See Appendix J : " The Great Seal of the Empress." 
2 Harl MS. 1708, fo. 113. ^ « Conjuratione facta." 

* " In indulta sibi conjuratione . . . quanta quippe mala ex conjuratione 
proveuiunt" (ed. Hewlett, p. 416). 

5 r. 

Comt. Hist., i. 407. 


which follows, and which speaks of *' omnes barones, qui 
in eorum communionem jamdudum recepti fuerant." For 
in this allusion we recognize a distinctive practice of 
the "sworn commune," from that of Le Mans (1073),^ 
to that of London (1191), *' in quam universi regni 
magnates et ipsi etiam ipsius provinciae episcopi jurare 
coguntur." ^ 

Meanwhile, what of Geoffrey de Mandeville ? A tale 
is told of him by Dugdale, and accepted without question 
by Mr. Clark,^ which, so far as I can find, must be traced 
to the following passage in Trivet : — 

"Igitur in die Nativitatis Precursoris Domini [June 24], obsessd 
turriy fugatur imperatrix de Londonia. Turrim autem Galfridus de 
Magnavilla potenter defendit, et egressu facto, Robertum civitatis 
episcopum, partis adversae fautorera, cepit apud njanerium de 
Fulhara." ^ 

It is quite certain that this tale is untrustworthy as 
it stands. We have seen above that Trivet's date for the 
arrival of the Empress at London is similarly, beyond 
doubt, erroneous.^ That the citizens, when they suddenly 
rose against the Empress, may also have blockaded Geoffrey 
in his tower, not only as her ally, but as their own natural 
enemy, is possible, nay, even probable. But that he 
ventured forth, through their ranks, to Fulham, when 
thus blockaded, is improbable, and that he captured the 
bishop as an enemy of the Empress is impossible, for the 
Empress herself had just installed him,^ and we find him 

^ " Facta conspiratione quam communwnem vocabant sese omnes pariter 
sacramentis adstringunt, et . . . ejusdem regionis proceres quamvis invitos, 
sacramentis susb conspiratiouis obligari compelluiit." 

^ Richard of Devizes (ed. Hewlett, p. 416). 

' Mediaeval Military Architecture, ii. 254. 

* Trivet's Annals (Eng. Hist. Soc, p. 13). « See p. 84. 

® "Primo quidem [apud Westmonasterium] quod decuit, sanctaB Dei 
Ecclesise, juxta bonoruin consilium, consulere procuravit. Dedit itaque Lun- 
doniensia ecclesise prsesulatum cuidam Radingensi mouacho viro venerabili 
prsesente et jubente reverend© abbate suo Edwardo " (Cont. Flor. Wig., 131). 


at her court a month later. ^ ki the same time Trivet, we 
must assume, cannot have invented all this. His story 
must preserve a confused version of the facts as told in 
some chronicle now lost, or, at least, unknown.^ On this 
assumption it may, perhaps, he suggested that Geoffrey 
was indeed blockaded in the Tower, but that when he 
accepted the Queen's offers, and thus made, as we shall 
see, common cause with the citizens, he signalized his 
defection from the cause of the Empress by seizing her 
adherent the bishop,^ and holding him a prisoner till, 
as Holinshed implies, he purchased his freedom, and so 
became free to join the Empress at Oxford.* 

And now let us come to the subject of this chapter, 
the lost charter of the Queen. 

That this charter was granted is an historical fact 
hitherto absolutely unknown. No chronicler mentions the 
fact, nor is there a trace of any such document, or even 
of a transcript of its contents. And yet the existence of 
this charter, like that of the planet Nej)tune, can be 
established, in the words of Sir John Herschel, " with a 
certainty hardly inferior to ocular demonstration." The 
discovery, indeed, of that planet was effected {magnis com- 
ponere parva) by strangely similar means. For as the 
perturbations of Uranus pointed to the existence of 

» Seep. 123. 

2 TVe have, indeed, a glimpse of this incident in the Liher de Antiquis 
Legibus (fol. 35), where we read : " Anno predicto, statim in ilia estate 
ohsessa est Turris Londoniarum a Londoniensibus, quam Willielmus (sic) 
de Magnavilla tenebat et firmaverat." 

^ The city, it must be remembered, lay between him and Fulham, so 
that, obviously, he is more likely to have made this raid when the city was 
no longer in arms against him. 

* "We have a hint that the bishop was disliked by the citizens in the 
Eistoria Pontificalis (p. 532), where we learn (in 1148) that they had dis- 
obeyed the papal authority : " Quando episcopus bone memorie Kobertus 
expulsus est, cui banc exhibuere devocionem ut omni diligentia procurarent 
ne patri exulanti in aliquo prodessent." 


Neptuae, so the " perturbations " of Geoffrey de Mandeville 
point to the existence of this charter. 

We know that the departure of the Empress was 
followed by the arrival of the Queen, with the result that 
Geoffrey was again in a position to demand his own terms. 
Had he continued to hold the Tower in the name of the 
Empress, he would have made it a thorn in the side of the 
citizens now that they had declared for her rival. We 
hear, moreover, at this crisis, of offers by the Queen to 
all those whom bribes or concessions could allure to her 
side.-^ We have, therefore, the strongest presumption 
that Geoffrey would be among the first to whom offers 
were made. But it is not on presumption that we depend. 
Stephen, we shall find, six months later, refers distinctly 
to this lost charter ('' Carta Reginae "),^ and the Empress 
in turn, in the following year, refers to the charters of the 
king and of the queen (" quas Rex Stephanus et Matiklis 
regina ei dederunt . . . sicut liabet inde cartas ilhritm'').^ 
Thus its existence is beyond question. And that it passed 
about this time maybe inferred, not only from the circum- 
stances of the case, but also from the most significant 
fact that, a few weeks later, at the siege of Winchester, 
we find Geoffrey supporting the Queen in active concert 
with the citizens.^ 

What were the terms of the charter by which he was 

' "Regina autera a Londoniensibns suscepta, sexusqiie fragilitatis, femi- 
neasque moUitiei oblita, viriliter gese et virtuose continere; iuvictos ubique 
coadjutores proce sibi et pretio allicere, regis conjuratos ubi ubi per Angliani 
fuerant dispersi ad dominum suum secum reposcetidum coiihtauter sol- 
licitare" (Gesta Stephani, 80). "Rjgina omaibus supplicavit, omnes pro 
ereptione mariti siii precibus, promissis, et obsequiis soUieitavit" {Sijm. 
Dun., ii. 310). 

2 See p. 143. ' See p. 167. 

* " Gaufrido de Mandevilla (qui jam iterum auxilio eorum cesserat, aotea 
enim post captionem regis imperatrioi fidelitatem juraverat) et Loudoniensibus 
maxime anniteutibus, nihilque omniiio quod possent pnetermittentibus quo 
imperatricem contristarent " (Will. Malms., p. 752). 


thus regained to bis allegiance we cannot now tell. To 
judge, however, from that of Stephen, which was mainly 
a confirmation of its terms, it probably represented a 
distinct advance on the concessions he had wrung from 
the Empress. 

It is an interesting fact, and one which probably is 
known to few, if any, that there is still preserved in the 
Public Eecord Office a solitary charter of the Queen, 
granted, I cannot but think, at this very crisis. As it is 
not long, I shall here quote it as a unique and instructive 

" M. Regina ADgl[ie] Omnibus fidelibus suis francis et Anglis 
salutem. Sciatis quod dedi Gervasio Justiciario de Loiid[onia] x 
marcatas terrae in villa de Gamelingeia pro servicio suo . . . donee ei 
persolvam debitum quod ei debeo, ut infra ilium terminura habeat 
proficuaque exibunt de villa predicta . . . testibus Com[ite] Sim[one] 
et Ric[ardo] de Bolon[ia] et Sim[one] de Gerardmot[a] et \Varn[erio] 
de Lisor[iisJ. apud Lond[oniam].i 

The first of the witnesses, Earl Simon (of North- 
ampton), is known to have been one of the three earls 
who adhered to the Queen during the king's captivity.^ 
Richard of Boulogne was possibly a brother of her nepos^ 
" Pharamus " of Boulogne, who is also known to have 
been with her.^ Combining the fact of the charter being 
the Queen's with that of its subject-matter and that of 
its place of testing, we obtain the strongest possible pre- 
sumption that it passed at this crisis, a presumption con- 
firmed, as we have seen, by the name of the leading 
witness. The endeavour to fix the date of this charter 
is well worth the making. For it is not merely of interest 

* Boyal Charters (Duchy of Lancaster), No. 22. N.B. — The above is 
merely an extract from the charter. 

* "NValeran of Meulan, William of "Warrenne, and Simon of Northampton 
{Ord. Vit., V. 130). 

» See p. 147. 


as a record unique of its kind. If it is, indeed, of the 
date suggested, it is, to all appearance, the sole survivor 
of all those charters, such as that to Geoffrey, by which 
the Queen, in her hour of need, must have purchased 
support for the royal cause. We see her, like the queen of 
Henry III., like the queen of Charles I., straining every 
nerve to succour her husband, and to raise men and 
means. And as Henrietta Maria pledged her jewels as 
security for the loans she raised, so Matilda is here shown 
as pledging a portion of her ancestral '^lonour" to raise 
the sinews of war.^ 

But this charter, if the date I have assigned to it be 
right, does more for us than this. It gives us, for an 
instant, a precious glimpse of that of which we know so 
little, and would fain know so much — I mean the govern- 
ment of London. We learn from it that London had then 
a ''justiciary," and further that his name was Gervase. 
Nor is even this all. The Gamlingay entry in the Testa 
de Nevill and Ziber Niger enables us to advance a step 
further and to establish the identity of this Gervase with 
no other than Gervase of Cornhill.^ The importance of 
this identification will be shown in a special appendix.^ 

Among those whom the Queen strove hard to gain was 
her husband's brother, the legate.* He had headed, as we 
have seen, the witnesses to Geoffrey's charter, but he was 

* Gamlingay, in Cambridgeshire, had come to the Queen as belonging to 
" the honour of Boulogne." 

2 « Gamenegheia valet xxx U. Inde tenent . . heredes Gerva8[ii] de 
CornbiU x U." (Liber Niger, 395 ; Testa, pp. 274, 275). This entry also proves 
that the loan (1141 ?) to the Queen was not repaid, and the property, there- 
fore, not redeemed. 

^ See Appendix K : " Gervase de Cornhill." 

* "Nunc quidem Wintoniensem episcopum, totius Anglige legatura, ut 
fraternis compatiens vinculis ad eum liberandum intenderet, ut sibi maritum, 
plebi regem, regno patronum, toto secum nisu adquireret, viriliter supplicare" 
[Gesta, 80). 


deeply injured at the failure of his appeal, on behalf of his 
family, to the Empress, and was even thought to have 
secretly encouraged the rising of the citizens of London.-^ 
He now kept aloof from the court of the Empress, and, 
having held an interview with the Queen at Guildford, 
resolved to devote himself, heart and soul, to setting his 
brother free.^ 

1 Geda, 79. 

2 Will. Malms., p. 750; Cont. Flor. Wig., 132; Gesta, 80; Annals of 

( 1^3 ) 



The Empress, it will be remembered, in the panic of her 
escape, on the sudden revolt of the citizens, had fled to 
the strongholds of her cause in the west, and sought 
refuge in Gloucester. Most of her followers were scattered 
abroad, but the faithful Miles of Gloucester was found, as 
ever, by her side. As soon as she recovered from her first 
alarm, she retraced her steps to Oxford, acting upon his 
advice, and made that fortress her head-quarters, to which 
her adherents might rally.^ 

To her stay at Oxford on this occasion we may assign 
a charter to Haughmond Abbey, tested mter alios by the 
King of Scots.^ But of far more importance is the well- 
known charter by which she granted the earldom of 
Hereford to her devoted follower. Miles of Gloucester.^ 
With singular unanimity, the rival chroniclers testify to 
the faithful service of which this grant was the reward.^ 

^ " Porro fugiens domina per Oxenefordiam veuit ad Grlavorniam, ubi cum 
Milone ex-constabulario consilio inito statim cum eodem ad Oxenefordensem 
revertitur urbem, ibi praestolatura seu recuperatura suum dispersum raili- 
tarem numerum" (Cont. Flor. Wig., 132). 

2 The other witnesses were Robert, Bishop of London, Alexander, Bishop 
of Lincohi, William the chancellor, R[ichard] de Belmeis, archdeacon, G[ilbert ?], 
archdeacon, Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, William Fitz Alan and Walter his 
brother, Alan de Dunstanville (Harl MS., 2188, fol. 123). The two bishops 
and the King of Scots also witnessed the charter to Miles. 

' Fcedera, N.E., 1. 14. 

* "Et quia ejusdem Milonis prsecipue fruebatur consilio et fovebatur auxilio, 
utpote qu8B eatenus nee unius diei victum nee mensss ipsius apparatum aliunde 
quam ex ipsius munificentia sive provident"a acceperat sicut ex ipsius Milonis 
ore audivimus, ut eum suo arctius vinciret ministerio, comitatum ei Here- 


It is an important fact that this charter contains a record 
of its date, which makes it a fixed point of great value for 
our story. This circumstance is the more welcome from the 
long list of witnesses, which enables us to give with absolute 
certainty the personnel of Matilda's court on the day this 
charter passed (July 25, 1141), evidence confirmed by 
another charter omitted from the fasciculus of Mr. Birch. ^ 
From a comparison of the dates we can assign these 
documents to the very close of her stay at Oxford, by 
which time her scattered followers had again rallied to her 
standard. It is also noteworthy that the date is in 
harmony with the narrative of the Continuator of Florence. 
This has a bearing on the chronology of that writer, to 
which we have now in the main to trust. 

William of Malmesbury, who on the doings of his 
patron is likely to be well informed, tells us that the 
rumours of the legate's defection led the Earl of Gloucester 
to visit Winchester in the hope of regaining him to his 
sister's cause. Disappointed in this, he rejoined her at 
Oxford.^ It must have been on his return that he witnessed 
the charter to Miles of Gloucester. 

The Empress, on hearing her brother's report, decided 
to march on Winchester with the forces she had now 
assembled.^ The names of her leading followers can be 
recovered from the various accounts of the siege.* 

fordensem tunc ibi posita pro magnse remunerationis csontulit prsemio " (Cont. 
Flor. Wig., 133). Comp. Gesta, 81 : " Milo Glaorneusis, quern ibi cum gratia 
et favore omnium comitem prse fecit Herefordlae." 

^ See Appendix L : " Charter of the Empress to William de Beauchamp." 

' " Ad hos motus, si possit, componendos comes Gloecestrensis non adeo 
denso comitatu Wintoniam contendit; sed, re infecta, ad Oxeneford rediit, 
ubi soror stativa mansione jamdudum se continuerat " (p. 751). The " jamdu- 
dum " should be noticed, as a hint towards the chronology. 

2 " Ipsa itaque, et ex his quae continue audiebat et a fratre tunc cognovit 
nihil legatum molle ad suas partes cogitare intelligena, Wintoniam cum 
quanto potuit apparatu venit " (ibid.). 

* They were her uncle, the King of Scots ; * her three brothers, the Earls 


The Continuator states that she reached Winchester 
shortly before the 1st of August.^ He also speaks of the 
siege having lasted seven weeks on the 13th of Sep- 
tember.^ If he means by this, as he implies, the siege 
by the queen's forces, he is clearly wrong ; but if he was 
thinking of the arrival of the Empress, this would place 
that event not later than the 27th .of July. We know 
from the date of the Oxford charter that it cannot well 
have been earlier. The Hyde Cartulary (Stowe MSS.) is 
more exact, and, indeed, gives us the day of her arrival, 
Thursday, July 31 (**pridie kal. Augusti"). According to 
the Annals of Waverley, the Empress besieged the bishop 
the next day.^ 

Of the struggle which now took place we have several 
independent accounts. Of these the fullest are those given 
by the Continuator, who here writes with a bitter feeling 
against the legate, and by the author of the Gesta, whose 
sympathies were, of course, on the other side. John of 
Hexham, William of Malmesbury, and Henry of Hunt- 
ingdon have accounts which should be carefully consulted, 
and some information is also to be gleaned from the Hyde 
Cartulary (Stowe MSS.). 

It is John of Hexham alone who mentions that the 
bishop himself had commenced operations by besieging 
the royal castle, which was held by a garrison of the 

of Gloucester * and of Cornwall,* and Kobert fitz Edith ; the Earls of 
Warwick and Devon (" Exeter "), with their newly created fellows, the Earls 
of Dorset (or Somerset) and Hereford ; Humplirey de Bohun,* John the 
Marshal,* Brien fitZ Count,* Geoffrey Boterel (his relative), William fitz Alan, 
"William" of Salisbury, Koger d'Oilli, Koger "de Nunant," etc. The 
primate * was also of the company, N.B. — Those marked with an asterisk 
attested the above charter to Milts de Gloucester. 

* " Inde [i.e. from Oxford] jam militum virtute roborata et nuraero, 
appropinquante festivitate Sancti Petri, quae dicitur ad Vincula" [August 1] 
(Cont, Flor. Wig., 133). 

' " Septem igitur septimanis in obsidione transactis " {ibid.). 

' "Die kalendarum Augusti " {Ann. Mon., ii. 229), 


Empress.^ It was in this castle, says the Continuator, 
that she took up her quarters on her arrival.^ She at 
once summoned the legate to her presence, hut he, dreading 
that she would seize his person, returned a temporizing 
answer, and eventually rode forth from the city (it would 
seem, by the east gate) just as the Empress entered it in 

Though the Continuator asserts that the Empress, on 
her arrival, found the city opposed to her, "William of 
Malmesbury, whose sympathies were the same, asserts, 
on the contrary, that the citizens were for her.^ Possibly, 
the former may only have meant that she had found the 
gates of the city closed against her by the legate. In 
any case, she now established herself, together with her 
followers, within the walls, and laid siege to the episcopal 
palace, which was defended by the legate's garrison.^ 

* " Imperatrix, collectis viriLus suis, cum rege Scotiae et Rodberto comite 
ascendit in Wintoniam, audiens milites suos inclusos in regia munitione 
expugnari a militibus legati qui erant in moenibus illius" {Sym. Dun., 
ii. 310). 

2 "Ignorante fratre suo, comite Bricstowensi (i.e. Earl Robert), Winto- 
niensem venit ad urbem, sed eam a se jam alienatam inveniens, in castello 
suscepit hospitiura " (p. 133). It seems impossible to understand what can 
be meant by the expression " ignorante fratre suo." So too Will. Malms. : 
" intra castellum regium sine cunctatione recepta." 

3 Will. Malms., i>. 751; Gesta, -p. 80; Cont Flor. Wig., 133. The Gesta 
alone represents the Empress as hoping to surprise the legate, which is 
scarcely probable. 

* " "VVintonienses porro vel tacito ei favebant judicio, memores fidei quam 
ei pacti fuerant cum inviti propemodum ab episcopo ad hoc adacti essent " 
(p. 752). 

* There is some confusion as to what the Empress actually besieged. The 
Gesta says it was " (1) castellum episcopi, quod venustissimo constructum 
schemate in civitatis medio locarat, sed et (2) domum illius, quam ad instar 
castelli fortiter et inexpugnabiliter firmarat." We learn from the Annals of 
Winchester (p. 51) that, in 1138, the bishop " fecit sedificare domum quasi 
palatium cum turri fortissima in Wintonia," which would seem to be 
Wolvesey, with its keep, at the south-east angle of the city. Again 
Giraldus has a story (vii. 46) that the bishop built himself a residence from 
the materials of the Conqueror's i alace : " Domos regies apud Wintoniam 
ecclesie ipsius atrio nimis enormiter imminentes, . . . funditus in brevi 


The usual consequence followed. From the summit of 
the keep its reckless defenders rained down fire upon the 
town, and a monastery, a nunnery, more than forty (?) 
churches, and the greater part of the houses within the 
walls are said to have been reduced to ashes. ^ 

Meanwhile, the legate had summoned to his aid the 
Queen and all the royal party. His summons was 

raptim et subito . . . dejecit, et . . . ex dirutis sedificiis et abstractis domos 
cpiscopales egregias sibi in eadem urbe construxit." On the other hand, the 
Byde Cartulary assigns the destruction of the palace to the siege (vide 

* "Interea ex turre pontificis jaculatum incendium in domos burgensium 
(qui, ut dixi, proniores erant imperatricis felicitati) comprehendit et 
combussit abbatiam totam sanctimonialium intra urbem, simulque csenobium 
quod dicitur ad Hidam extra " (Will. Malms., p. 752). " Qui intus reclude- 
bantur ignibus foras emissis majorera civitatis partem sed et duas abbatias 
in favillas penitus redegerunt " (Gesta, p. 83). " Siquidem secundo die 
mensis Augusti ignis civitati immissis, monasterium sanctimonialium cum 
suis sedificiis, ecclesias plus xl cum majori seu melioii parte civitatis, 
postremo cgenobium monachorum Deo et Sancto Grimbaldo famulantium, 
cum suis sedibus redegit in cineres " (Cont. Flor. Wig., p. 133). It is from 
this last writer that we get the date (August 2), which we should never 
have gathered from William of Malmesbury (who mentions this fire in con- 
junction with the burning of Wherwell Abbey, at the close of the siege) or 
from the Gesta. M. Paris (CJiron. Maj., ii. 174) assigns the fire, like William 
of Malmesbury, to the end of the siege, but his version, "Destructa est 
Wintonia xviii kal. Oct., et captus est K. Comes Glovernie die exaltationis 
Sancte Crucis," is self-stultifying, the two dates being one and the same. 
The Continuator's date is confirmed by the independent evidence of tlie Hyde 
Cartulary (among the Stowe MSS.), which states that on Saturday, the 2nd 
of August (" Sabbato iiii. non. Augusti"), the city was burned by the 
bishop's forces, " et eodem die dicta civitas Wyntoiiie capta est et spoliata." 
From this source we further obtain the interesting fact that the Conqueror's 
palace in the city (" totum palatium cum aula sua ") perished on this 
occasion. Allusion is made to this fact in the same cartulary's account of a 
council held by Henry of Winchester in the cathedral, in November, 1150, 
where the parish of St. Laurence is assigned the site " super quam aulam 
suam et palacium edificaii fecit (Eex Willelmus)," which palace " in adventu 
Eoberti Comitis Gloecestrie combustum fuit." Tlie Continuator (more sud) 
assigns the fire to the cruelty of the bishop ; but it was the ordinary practice 
in such cases. As from the tower of Le Mans in 1099 (Ord. Vit.), as from 
the tower of Hereford Cathedral but a few years before this (Gesta Stephani), 
so now at Winchester the firebrands flew : and so again at Lewes, in far later 
days (1264), where on the evening of the great battle there blazed forth from 
the defeated Royalists, sheltered on the castle height, a mad shower of fire. 


promptly obeyed;^ even the Earl of Chester, ''who," 
says Dr. Stubbs, '' was uniformly opposed to Stephen, 
but who no doubt fought for himself far more than for 
the Empress," ^ joined, on this occasion, the royal forces, 
perhaps to maintain the balance of power. But his 
assistance, naturally enough, was viewed with such deep 
suspicion that he soon went over to the Empress,^ to 
whom, however, his tardy help was of little or no value.* 
From London the Queen received a well-armed contingent, 
nearly a thousand strong ; ^ but Henry of Huntingdon 
appears to imply that their arrival, although it turned 
the scale, did not take place till late in the siege. ^ 

The position of the opposing forces became a very 
strange one. The Empress and her followers, from the 
castle, besieged the bishojD's palace, and were in turn them- 
selves besieged by the Queen and her host without. "^ It 
was the aim of the latter to cut off the Emj)ress from her 
base of operations in the west. With this object they 
burnt Andover,^ and harassed so successfully the enemy's 
convoys, that famine was imminent in the city.^ The 

^ " Statimque propter omnes misit quos regi fauturos sciebat. Veneruut 
ergo fere omnes comites Auglise ; erant enim juveues et leves, et qui mallent 
equitatiouum discursus quaiii pacem " {Will, Malms., p. 751). Cf. Hen. 
Hunt, p. 275, and Gesta, pp. 81, 82. 

2 Early Plantagenets, p. 25. Compare Const. Hist., i. 329 : " The Earl of 
Chester, although, whenever* he prevailed on himself to act, he took part 
against Stephen, fought rather on his own account than on Matilda's." 

3 Sym. Dun., ii. 310. 

* "Reinulfus enim comes Cestrie tarde et iuutiliter adveuit" (Will. 
Malms., p. 751. 

* "Invicta Londoniensium caterva, qui, fere mille, cum galeis et loricis 
ornatissime instructi convenerant " (Gesta, p. 82). 

* " Yenit tandem exercitus Lundoniensis, et aucti numerose qui contra 
imperatricem contendebant, fugere eam compulerunt " (p. 275). 

' Gesta, p. 82. The Annals of Winchester (p. 52) strangely reverse the 
respective positions of the two : '• Imperatrix cum suis castellum tenuit 
regium et orientalem (sic) partem "Wintonie et burgenses eum ea ; legatus 
cum suis castruni suum cum parte occideutali*' (sic). 

« Will. Malms., p. 752. » Ihid. ; Gesta, p. 83. 


Empress, moreover, was clearly outnumbered by the forces 
of the Queen and legate. It is agreed on all hands that the 
actual crisis was connected with an affair at Wherwell, but 
John of Hexham and the author of the Gesta are not 
entirely in accord as to the details. According to the 
latter, who can hardly be mistaken in a statement so pre- 
cise, the besieged, now in dire straits, despatched a small 
force along the old Icknield Way, to fortify "Wherwell and 
its nunnery, commanding the passage of the Test, in order 
to secure their line of communication.^ John of Hexham, 
on the contrary, describing, it would seem, the same inci- 
dent, represents it as merely the despatch of an escort, 
under John the Marshal and Eobert fitz Edith, to meet 
an expected convoy.^ In any case, it is clear that William 
of Ypres, probably the Queen's best soldier, burst upon 
the convoy close to Wherwell, and slew or captured all but 
those who sought refuge within the nunnery walls.^ Nor 
are the two accounts gravely inconsistent. 

On the other hand, the Continuator of Florence appears 
at first sight to imply that the Marshal and his followers 
took refuge at Wherwell in the course of the general 
flight,'* and this version is in harmony with the Histoire 

^ "Provisum est igitur, et commtini consilio provise, ut sibi videbatur, 
statutum, quatinus penes abbatiara Werwellensem, quee a Venta civitate vi. 
milliariis distabat, trecentis (sic) ibi destinatis militibus, castellum constru- 
erent, ut scilicet inde et regales facilius aicerentur, et ciborum subsidia 
competentius in urbe dirigerentur " (p. 83). 

2 " Emissi sunt autem ducenti (sic) milites, cum Rodberto filio EdaB et 
Henrici regis notho et Johanne Marascaldo, ut conducerent in urbem eos qui 
comportabant victualia in ministerium imperatricis et eorum qui obsessi fue- 
rant" (Sym. Dun., ii. 310). 

' " Quos persecuti Willelmus Dipre et pars exercitus usque ad Warewella 
(ubi est congregatio sanctimonialium) et milites et omnem apparatura, qui 
erat copiosus, abduxerunt " (ifct't? ). " Subito et insperate, cum intolerabili 
multitudine Werwellam adveneruut, fortiterque in eos undique irruentes 
captis et interemptis plurimis, cedere tandem reliquos et in templum se 
recipere compulerunt" (Gesta, p. 83). 

* Vide infra. Since tbe above ^Yas written Mr. Hewlett, in his edition of 



de Guillaume le Marechal} But putting aside William 
of Malmesbury, whose testimony is ambiguous on the 
point, I consider the balance to be clearly in favour of 
the Gesta and John of Hexham, whose detailed accounts 
must be wholly rejected if we embrace the other version, 
whereas the Continuator's words can be harmonized, and 
indeed better understood, if we take " ad monasterium 
Warewellense fugientem " as referring to John taking 
refuge in the nunnery (as described in the other versions) 
when surprised with his convoy. Moreover, the evidence 
{vide infra) as to the Empress leaving Winchester by the 
west instead of the north gate, appears to me to clinch 
the matter. As to the Marshal poem, on such a point its 
evidence is of little weight. Composed at a later period, 
and based on famil}^ tradition, its incidents, as M. Meyer 
has shown, are thrown together in wrong order, and its 
obvious errors not a few. I may add that the Marshal's 
position is unduly exalted in the poem, and that Brian fitz 
Count (though it is true that he accompanied the Empress in 
her flight) would never have taken his orders from John the 
Marshal.^ Its narrative cannot be explained away, but it is 
the one that we are most justified in selecting for rejection. 

the Gesta (p. 82, note), has noted the contradiction in the narrative, but 
seems to lean to the latter version as being supported by the Marshal poem. 

* As has been duly pointed out by its accomplished editor, M. Paul 
Meyer (_Romania, vol. xi.), who will shortly, it may be hoped, publish the 
entire poem. 

' '* Li Mareschals de sou afaire 

Ne sout que dire ue que feire, 

N'i vit rescose ne confort. 

A Brien de Walingofort 

Commanda a mener la dame, 

E dist, sor le peril de s'alme 

Q'en nul lieu ne s'aresteiiseut, 

Por nul besoing que il eiisent, 

N'en bone veie ne en male, 

De si qu'a Lothegaresale ; 

E cil tost e hastivemeut 

En fist tot son commandement " (Lines 225-236). 


To expel the fugitives from their place of safety, 
William and his troopers fired the nunnery. A furious 
struggle followed in the church, amidst the shrieks of the 
nuns and the roar of the flames ; the sanctuary itself 
streamed with blood; but John the Marshal stood his 
ground, and refused to surrender to his foes.^ *' Silence, 
or I will slay thee with mine own hands," the undaunted 
man is said to have exclaimed, as his last remaining 
comrade implored him to save their lives. ^ 

^ " Cumque vice castelli ad se defendendos templo uterentur, alii, facibus 
undique injectis, semiustulatos eos e templo prodire, et ad votum suum se 
Bibi siibdere coegerunt, Erat quidem borrendum," etc. (Gesta, p. 83). 
** Johannem etiam, fautorem eorum, ad monasteiium Warewellense fugi- 
entem milites episcopi persequentes, cum exinde nullo modo expellere valu- 
issent, in ips&, die festivitatis Exaltationis Sanctse Crucis [Sept. 14J, immisso 
igne ipsam ecclesiam Sanctse Crucis cum sanctimonialium rebus et domibus 
cremaverunt, . . . prsedictum tamen Johannem nee capere nee expellere 
potuerunt " (Cont. Flor. Wig., p. 135). So also Will Malms, (p. 752) : "Com- 
busta est etiam abbatia sanctimonialium de Warewella a quodam Willelrao 
de Ipr§, homine nefando, qui nee Deo nee hominibus reverentiam observaret, 
quod in ea quidam imperatricis fautores se contutati esseut." 
^ " Li Mareschas el guie s'estut, 

A son peer les contrestut. 

Tute Tost sur lui descarcha 

Qui si durement le charcha 

Que n'i pent naint plus durer ; 

Trop lui fui fort a endurer, 

Einz s'enbati en un mostier ; 

N'ont o lui k'un sol chevaler. 

Quant li real les aper9urent 

Qu'el mostier enbatu se furent : 

* Or 9a, li feus ! ' funt il, ' or sa, 

Li traitres ne li garra.', 

Quant li feus el moster se prist, 

En la vis de la tor se mist. 

Li chevaliers li dist : ' Beau sire, 

Or ardrum ci a grant martire : 

Ce sera pecchiez e damages. 

Kendom nos, si ferom que sages.' 

Cil respundi mult cruelment : 

N'en parler ja, gel te defent ; 

Ke, s'en diseies plus ne mains, 

Ge t'occirreie de mes mains.' 

Por le grant feu qui fu entor 

Dejeta li pluns de la tor, 


On receiving intelligence of this disaster, the besieged 
were seized with panic, and resolved on immediate retreat.-^ 
William of Malmesbury, as before, is anxious to deny the 
panic,^ and the Continuator accuses the legate of treachery.^ 
The account, however, in the Gesta appears thoroughly 
trustworthy. According to this, the Emjjress and her 
forces sallied forth from the gates in good order, but 
were quickly surrounded and put to flight. All order was 
soon at an end. Bishops, nobles, barons, troopers, fled in 
headlong rout. With her faithful squire by her side the 
Empress rode for her life.^ The Earl of Gloucester, with 

Si que sor le vis li cha'i, 

Dunt leidement li meschai', 

K'un de ses elz i out perdu 

Dunt molt se tint a esperdu, 

Mais, merci Dieu, n'i murust pas. 

E li real en es le pas 

For mort e por ars le quiderent ; 

A Yincestre s'en returnerent, 

Mais n'i fu ne mors ue esteinz " (Lines 237-269). 

* " Ubi lacrymabilem prsefati infortunii audisseut eventum de obsidi- 
one diutius ingerendS, ex toto desperati, fugsB quammature inire prsesidium 
sibi consuluere " (^Gesta, pp. 83, 84). " Qui jam non in concertatione sed in 
fuga spem salutis gerentes egressi sunt, ne forte victores cum Willelmo 
d'lpre ad socios regressi, sumpta fiducia ex quotidianis sueceasibus, aliquid 
subitum in eos excogitarent " (Sym. Dun., ii. 310). 

2 *' [Comes] cedendum tempori ratus, compositis ordinibus discessionem 
paravit " (p. 753). 

2 P. 134. His strong bias against the legate makes this somewhat 
confused charge unworthy of credit. 

* " La fist tantost metre a la voie 
Tot dreit a Lotegaresale. 

Ne[l] purrent suffrir ne atendre 
Cil qui o I'empereriz erent : 
Al meiz ku'il purent s'en alereut, 
Poingnant si que regno n'i tindrent 
[J]esque soz Yaresvalle viudrent ; 
Mes ferment les desavancha 
L'empereriz qui chevacha 
Cumme femme fait en scant : 
Ne sembia pas buen ne scant 
Al Marechal, anceis li dist : 


the rear-guard, covered his sister's retreat, but in so doing 
was himself made prisoner, while holding, at Stoekbridge, 
the passage of the Test.^ 

The mention of Stoekbridge proves that the besieged 
must have fled by the Salisbury road, their line of retreat 
by Andover being now barred at Wherwell. After crossing 
the Test, the fugitive Empress must have turned north- 
wards, and made her way, by country lanes, over Long- 
stock hills, to Ludgershall. So great was the dread of 
her victorious foes, now in full pursuit, that though she had 
ridden more than twenty miles, and was overwhelmed with 
anxiety and fatigue, she was unable to rest even here, and, 
remounting, rode for Devizes, across the Wiltshire downs.^ 
It was not, we should notice, thought safe for her to make 
straight for Gloucester, through Marlborough and Ciren- 
cester; so she again set her face due west, as if making 
for Bristol. Thus fleeing from fortress to fortress, she came 
to her castle at Devizes. So great, however, was now her 
terror that even in this celebrated stronghold^ she would 

• Dame, si m'ait Jesucrist, 

L'em ne puet pas eu seant poindre ; 

Les jambes vos covient desjoiadre 

E metre par en son rar9un.' 

El le fist, volsist ele ou non, 

Quer lor enemis le[s] grevoient 

Qui de trop pres les herd[i]oient " (Lines 198, 199, 208-224). 

The quaint detail here given is confirmed, as M. Meyer notes, by the Con- 
tinuator's phrase {vide infra, note 2). 

^ " In loco qui Stolibricge dicitur a Flammensibus cum comite Warren- 
nensi captus" {Cont. Flor. Wig., p. 135). Cf. p. 134, and Will. Malms, (jp. 
753, 758, 759), Gesta (p. 84), Sym. Bun. (ii. 31 1), Hen. Hunt. (p. 275). As in 
Matilda's flight from London, so in her flight from Winchester, the author of 
the Gesta appears to advantage with his descriptive and spirited account. 

* " Hsec audiens domina, vehementer exterrita atque turbata, ad castellura 
quo tendebat de Ludkereshala tristris ac dolens advenit, s.ed ibi locum tutum 
quiescendi, propter metum episcopi, non invenit. Uude, hortantibus suis, 
equo iterum usu masculine supposita, atque ad Divisas perducta " (Cont. 
Flor. Wig., p. 134). 

* " Castellam quod vocatur Divise, quo non erat aliud splendidius intra 
fines EuropaB " (Hen. Hunt., p. 265). " Castellum . . . multiset vix uumerabi- 


not, she feared, be safe. She bad already ridden some 
forty miles, mainly over bad country, and what with grief, 
terror, and fatigue, the erst haughty Empress was now 
'* more dead than alive" {i^ene exanimis). It was out of 
the question that she should mount again ; a litter was 
hurriedly slung between two horses, and, strapped to this, 
the unfortunate Lady was conveyed in sorry guise {sat 
ignominiose) to her faithful city of Gloucester.^ 

On a misunderstanding, as I deem it, of the passage 
(and especially of the word feretrum), writers have suc- 
cessively, for three centuries, represented the Continuator 
as stating that the Empress, *^to elude the vigilance of 
her pursuers," was ^'laid out as a corpse!" Lingard, 
indeed, while following suit, gravely doubts if the fact 
be true, as it is recorded by the Continuator alone ; but 
Professor Pearson improves upon the story, and holds 
that the versatile '* Lady " was in turn ''a trooper " and 
a corpse.^ 

libus sumptibus, non (ut ipse prsesul dictabat) ad ornamentum, sed (ut se rei 
Veritas habet) ad ecclesi* detrimeDtuin, sedificatum " ( Will. Malms., pp. 717, 
718). It had been raised by the Bishop of Salisbury, and it passed, at his 
fall, into Stephen's hands. It is then described by the author of the Gest'i 
(p. 66) as " castellum regis, quod Divisa dicebatur, ornanter et inexpugna- 
biliter muratum." It was subsequently surprised by Robert fitz Hubert, 
who held it for his own hand till his capture, when the Earl of Gloucester 
tried hard to extort its surrender from him. In this, however, he failed. 
Robert was hanged, and, soon after, his garrison sold it to Stephen, by whom 
it was entrusted to Hervey of Brittany, whom he seems to have made Earl 
of Wilts. But on Stephen's capture, the peasantry rose, and extorted its 
surrender from Hervey. Thenceforth, it was a stronghold of the Empress 
(see for this the Continuator and the Gesta). 

* "Cum nee ibi secure se tutari posse, ob insequentes, formidaret, jam pene 
exanimis feretro invecta, et funibus quasi cadaver ligata, equis deferenti- 
bus, sat ignominiose ad civitatem deportatur Glaornensem " {Cont. Flor. Wig.^ 
134). The author of the Gesta (p. 85) mentions her flight to Devizes (" Bri- 
eno tantum cum paucis comite, ad Divisas confugit"), and incidentally 
observes (p. 87) that she was " ex Wintoniensi dispersione quassa nimis, et 
usque ad defectum pene defatigata " (i.e. " tired to death ; " cf. supra). John 
of Hexham merely says : " Et imperatrix quidem non sine magno conflictu 
et plurima difficultate erepta est" {Sym. Dun., ii. 310). 

* Camden, in his Britannia, gives the story, but Knighton (De eventibu3 


On the 1st of November the king was released, and 
a few days later the Earl of Gloucester, for whom he 
had been exchanged, reached Bristol.-^ Shortly after, it 
would seem, there were assembled together at Bristol, 
the Earl, the Empress, and their loyal adherents. Miles, 
now Earl of Hereford, Brian fitz Count, and Kobert fitz 

AngliaD, lib. ii., in Scriptores X.) seems to be the chief offender. Dugdale follows 
with the assertion that " she was necessitated . . . for her more security to 
be put into a coffin, as a dead corps, to escape their hands " (i. 537 6). 
According to Milner {History of Winchester^ p. 162), " she was enclosed like a 
corpse in a sheet of lead, and was thus suffered to pass in a horse-litter as 
if carried out for interment, through the army of her besiegers, a truce 
having been granted for this purpose." Even Edwards, in his introduction 
to the Liber de Hyda (p. xlviii.), speaks of " the raising of the siege ; a raising 
precipitated, if we accept the accounts of Knighton and some other chronicltrs 
who accord with him, by the strange escape of the Empress Maud from 
Winchester Castle concealed in a leaden coffin." Sic crescit eundo. 

' Will. Malms., p. 754. 

* See donation of Miles (Monasticon, vi. 137), stated to have been made in 
their presence, and in the year 1141, in which he speaks of himself as "apud 
Bristolium positus, jamque consulatus houorem adeptus." Brian had escorted 
the Empress in her flight, but Miles, intercepted by the enemy, had barely 
escaped with his life ("de sola vita Isetus a<l Gluoriiam cum dedecore 
fugiendo pervenit lassus, solus, et pene nudus." — Cont, Flor. Wig., p. 135). 

( 136 ) 



The liberation of the king from his captivity was hailed 
with joy by his adherents, and not least, we may be sure, 
in his loyal city of London. The greatness of the 
event is seen, perhaps, in the fact that it is even mentioned 
in a private London deed of the time, executed ''Anno 
MCXLL, Id est in exitu regis Stephani de captione Roberti 
filii regis Henrici."-^ 

In spite of his faults we may fairly assume that the 
king's imprisonment had aroused a popular reaction in 
his favour, as it did in the case of Charles L, five centuries 
later. The experiences also of the summer had been 
greatly in his favour. For, however unfit he may have 
been to fill the throne himself, he was able now to point to 
the fact that his rival had been tried and found wanting. 

He would now be eager to efi'ace the stain inflicted on 
his regal dignity, to show in the sight of all men that he 
was again their king, and then to execute vengeance on 
those whose ca]3tive he had been. The first step to be 
taken was to assemble a council of the realm that should 
undo the work of the April council at Winchester, and 
formally recognize in him the rightful possessor of the 
throne. This council met on the 7th of December at 
Westminster, the king himself being present.^ The 
ingenious legate was now as ready to prove that his 

» Ninth Report Hist. MSS., App. i. p. G2 />. 

2 "Kegera ipsum in concilium introisse" (Will. Mahm., 755). 


brother, and not the Empress, should rightly fill the 
throne, as, we saw, he was in April to prove the exact 
reverse. The two grounds on which he based his renun- 
ciation were, J&rst, that the Empress had failed to fulfil 
her pledges to the Church ; ^ second, that her failure 
implied the condemnation of God.^ 

A solemn coronation might naturally follow, to set, as 
it were, the seal to the work of this assembly. Perhaps 
the nearest parallel to this second coronation is to be 
found in that of Kichard I., in 1194, after his cap- 
tivity and humiliation.^ I think we have evidence that 
Stephen himself looked on this as a second coronation, 
and as no mere " crown-wearing," in a precept in favour 
of the monks of Abingdon, in which he alludes incidentally 
to the day of his first coronation.* This clearly implies 
a second coronation since ; and as the prece23t is attested 
by Bichard de Luci, it is presumably subsequent to that 
second coronation, to which we now come. 

It cannot be wondered that this event has been un- 
noticed by historians, for it is only recorded in a single 
copy of the works of a single chronicler. We are indebted 
to Dr. Stubbs and his scholarly edition of the writings 
of Gervase of Canterbury for our knowledge of the fact that 
in one, and that comparatively imperfect, of the three 
manuscripts on which his text is based, we read of a 
coronation of Stephen, at Canterbury, " placed under 

^ " Ipsam qusecimque pepigerat ad ecclesiarum jus pertinentia obstinate 
fregisse " (ihid.). 

2 " Deura, pro sua dementia, secus quam ipsa sperasset vertisse ne- 
gotia " (ibid.). 

^ Dr. Stubbs well observes of this coronation of Richard: "His second 
coronation was understood to have an important significance. He had by his 
captivity in Germany . . . impaired or compromised his dignity as a crowned 
king. The Winchester coronation was not intended to be a reconsecration, but 
a solemn assertion that the royal dignity had undergone no diminution " 
(^Const. Hist, i. 504). 

* "Die qua piimum coronatus fui " {Cartulary of Abingdon, ii. 181). 


1142." We learn from him that in this MS. '* it is pro- 
bably inserted in a wrong place," as indeed is evident from 
the fact that at Christmas, 1142, Stephen was at Oxford. 
Here is the passage in question : — 

" Deinde rex Stephanus una cum regina et nobilitate procerum ad 
Natale Domini gratiosus adveniens, in ipsa solempnitate in ecclesia 
Christi a venerabili Theobaldo ejusdem ecclesiae archiepiscopo coro- 
natus est ; ipsa etiam regina cum eo ibidem coronam auream gestabat 
iD capite" {Oervase, i. 123). 

It should perhaps be noticed that, while the Queen is merely 
said to have worn her crown, Stephen is distinctly stated 
to have been crowned. I cannot but think that this must 
imply a distinction between them, and supports the view 
that this coronation was due to the captivity of the king. 

My contention is that the date of this event was 
Christmas, 1141, and that the choice, for its scene, of the 
Kentish capital was a graceful compliment to that county 
which, in the darkest hour of the king's fortunes, had 
remained faithful to his cause, and to the support of which 
his restoration had been so largely due.-^ 

I further hold that the second charter granted to 
Geoffrey de Mandeville was executed on this occasion, 
and that in its witnesses we have the list of that ''nobilitas 
procerum" by which, according to Gervase, this coro- 
nation was attended. 

This charter, when rightly dated, is indeed the keystone 
of my story. For without it we could not form that series 
on which the sequence of events is based. It is admittedly 
subsequent to the king's liberation, for it refers to the 
battle of Lincoln. It must also be previous to Geoffrey's 
death in 1144. These are the obvious limits given in the 
official calendar.^ But it must further be previous to 

^ " Cantia quam solam casus non flexerat regius" {Will. Newhurgh, i. 41). 
^ Thirty-first Report of Deputy Keeper, p. 3 (based on the late Sir 


Geoffrey's fall in 1143. Lastly, it must be previous to the 
Oxford, or second, charter of the Empress, in which we 
shall find it is referred to. As that charter cannot be 
later than the summer of 1142, our limit is again narrowed. 
Now the charter is tested at Canterbury. Stephen cannot, 
it seems, have been there in the course of 1142. This 
accordingly leaves us, as the only possible date, the close 
of 1141 ; and this is the very date of the king's coronation 
at Canterbury. When we add to this train of reasoning 
the fact that the number of earls by whom the charter is 
witnessed clearly points to some great state ceremonial, 
we cannot feel the slightest doubt that the charter must, 
as I observed, have passed on this occasion. With this 
conclusion its character will be found in complete accord- 
ance, for it plainly represents the price for which the 
traitor earl consented to change sides again, and to place 
at the disposal of his outraged king that Tower of London, 
its citadel and its dread, the possession of which once 
more enabled him to dictate his own terms. 

Those terms were that, in the first place, he should 
forfeit nothing for his treason in having joined the cause 
of the Empress, and should be confirmed in his possession 
of all that he held before the king's capture. But his 
demands far exceeded the mere statiiB quo ante. Just as he 
had sold his support to the Empress when she gave him 
an advance on Stephen's terms, so the Queen must have 
brought him back by offering terms, at the crisis of the 
struggle, in excess even of those which he had just wrung 
from the Empress. He would now insist that these great 
concessions should be confirmed by the king himself. 
Such is the explanation of the strange character of this 
Canterbury charter. 

William Hardy's register of tliese charters). Mr. Birch, in his learned 
paper on the seals of King Stephen, also assigns these limits to the charter. 


Charter of the King to Geoffrey de Mindeville 
(Christmas, 1141). 

S. rex Angl[orum] Archiepiscopis Episcopis x^bbatibus 
Comitibus Justic[iariis] Yicecomitibus Baronibus et 
Omnibus Ministris et fidelibus suis francis et Anglis totius 
Anglie salutem. Sciatis me reddidisse et firmiter con- 
cesisse Gaufr[ido] Comiti de Essexa omnia sua tenementa 
que tenuit, de quocunque ilia tenuerit, die qua impeditus 
fui apud Line[olniam] et captus. Et prseter hoc dedi ei 
et concessi ccc libratas terrse scilicet Meldonam ^ et 
Neweport et Depedenam et Banhunte et Ingam et Phin- 
griam^ et Chateleam cum omnibus suis Appendiciis pro c 
libris. Et Writelam^ pro vi.xx libris. Et Hadfeld^ pro 
quater.xx libris cum omnibus appendiciis illorum Mane- 
riorum. Et prseter hec dedi ei et concessi in feodo et here- 
ditate de me et de meis haeredibus sibi et suis heredibus 
c libratas terrae de terris excaatis, scilicet totam terram 
Roberti de Baentona^ quam tenuit in Essexa, videlicet 

* "Meldona." This manor, and those which follow are the same, with 
the addition of 'luga' and 'Phingria,' as had been granted Geoffrey by the 
Empress to make up his £100 a year. Thus these two manors represent 
the " si quid defuerit ad c libratas perficiendas " of the Empress's charters. 
Maldon itself had, we saw (p. 102), been held by Stephen's brother Theobald, 
forfeited by the Empress on her triumph, and granted by her to Geoffrey. 
Theobald's possession is further proved by a writ among the archives of 
"Westminster (printed in Madox's Baronia Anglica, p. 232), in which Stephen 
distinctly states (1139) that he had given it him. Thus, in giving it to 
Geoffrey, he had to despoil his own brother. 

2 The *'Phenge " and " Inga " of Domesday (ii. 71 h, 72 a), which were 
part of the fief of Randulf Peverel (" of London "). 

' Writtle was ancient demesne of the Crown (Pipe-Roll, 31 Hen. I.). 
Its reddltuSi at the Survey, was " c libras ad poudus et c solidos de ger- 

* Hatfield Broadoak, alias Hatfield Regis. This also was ancient 
demesne, its redditus, at the Survey, being " Ixxx libras et c solidos de ger- 
suma." Here the Domesday redditus remained unchanged, an important 
point to notice. 

* Robert de Baentona was lord of Bampton, co. Devon. He occurs in the 


Eeneham^ et Hoilandam,^ Et Amb[er]denam^ et Wodebam ^ 
et Eistan',^ quam Picardus de Danfront ^ tenuit. Et Ichilin- 
tonam ^ cum omnibus eorum appendiciis pro c libris. Et 
praeterea dedi ei et firmiter concessi in feodo et bereditate c 
libratas terrae ad opus Ernulfi de Mannavilla de ipso Comite 
Gaufredo tenendas, scilicet Anastiam,^ et Bracbing,^ et 
Hamam ^^ cum omnibus eorum appendiciis. Et c solidatas 
terrae in Hadfeld ad praefatas c libratas terrae perficien- 
d[um]. Et praeterea dedi ei et concessi custodiam turris 
Lond[oni8e] cum Castello quod ei subest babend[um] et 
tenendum sibi et suis baeredibus de me et de meis beredibus 
cum omnibus rebus et libertatibus et consuetudinibus pre- 
late turri pertinentibus. Et Justicias et Yicecomitat' de 
Lond[onia] et de Middlesexa in feodo et bereditate 

Pipe-Koll of 31 Hen. I. (p. 153, 154). He is identical with the Robert "do 
Bathentona " whose rebellion against Stephen is narrated at some length in 
the Gesta. His lands were forfeited for that rebellion, and consequently 
appear here as an escheat (see my note on him in English Historical Review^ 
October, 1890). 

^ Rainham, on the Thames, in South Essex. It had formed part of the 
Domesday (D. B.^ ii. 91) barony of Walter de Douai, to whose Domesday fief 
Robert de Baentona had succeeded. 

* Great Holland, in Essex, adjacent to Clacton-on-Sea. It had similarly 
formed part of the Domesday barony of Walter de Douai. 

' Amberden, in Depden, with which it had been held by Randulf Peverel 
at the Survey. 

* Woodham Mortimer, Essex. This also had been part of the fief of 
Randulf Peverel. 

* Easton, Essex. Geofirey de Mandeville had held land, at the Survey 
in (Little) Easton. 

® Picard de Domfront occurs in the Pipe- Roll of 31 Hen. I. as a land- 
owner in Wilts and Essex (pp. 22, 53). 

^ Ickleton, Cambridgeshire, on the borders of Essex, the " Icliilintone " 
of Domesday (in which it figures), was Terra Begis, In the Liber Niger 
(special inquisition), however (p. 394), it appears as part of the honour of 

* Anstey, Herts, the " Anestige " of Domesday, part of the honour of 

® Braughing, Herts, the " Brachinges " of Domesday. Also part of the 
honour of Boulogne. 

^° Possibly that portion of Ham (East and West Ham), Essex, which 
formed part of the fief of Randulf Peverel. 


eadem firma qua Gaufridus de Mannavilla avus suus eas 
tenuit, scilicet pro ccc libris. Et Justitias et Vicecomitat' 
de Essexa et de Heortfordiscira eadem firma qua avus ejus 
eas tenuit, ita tamen quod dominica que de praedictis 
Comitatibus data sunt ipsi Comiti Gaufredo aut alicui alii 
a firma praefata subtrahantur et illi et bseredibus suis ad 
scaccarium combutabuntur. Et prseterea firmiter ei con- 
cessi ut possit firmare quoddam castellum ubicunque volu- 
erit in terra sua et quod stare possit. Et prseterea dedi 
eidem Comiti Gaufr[edo] et firmiter concessi in feodo et 
hereditate sibi et bgeredibus suis de me et de meis here- 
dibus Ix milites feudatos, de quibus Ernulfus de Manna- 
villa tenebit x in feodo et hereditate de patre suo, scilicet 
servicium Graalondi de Tania ^ pro vii militibus et dimidio 
Et servicium Willelmi filii Eoberti pro vii militibus Et ser- 
vicium Brient[ii] filii Radulfi^ pro v militibus Et servi- 
cium Eoberti filii Geroldi pro xi militibus Et servicium 
Radulfi filii Geroldi pro i milite Et servicium Willelmi 
de Tresgoz ^ pro vi militibus Et servicium Mauricii de 
Chic[he] pro v militibus et servicium Radulfi Maled[octi] 
pro ii militibus Et servicium Goisb[erti] de Ing[a] pro 
i milite Et servicium Willelmi filii Heru[ei] pro iii mili- 
tibus Et servicium Willelmi de Auco pro j milite et dimi- 
dio Et servicium Willelmi de Bosevilla^ pro ii militibus 

^ On Graaland de Tany, see p. 91. 

2 Brien fitz Kalf may have been a son of the Ralf fitz Brien who appears 
in Domesday as an under-tenant of Randulf Peverel. According to the 
inquisition on the honour of Peverel assigned to 13th John, "Brien filius 
Radulfi " held five fees of the honour, the very number here given. 

' William de Tresgoz appears in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I. as a land- 
owner in Essex (where the family held Tolleshunt Tregoz of the honour of 
Peverel) and elsewhere. He was then fermor of the honour of Peverel. 
In the above inquisition " William de Tregoz " holds six fees of the 

* William " de Boevilla" (««c) appears in the same roll aa a landowner in 
Essex (pp. 53, 60), and William "de Bosevill" {sic) is found in (Hearne's) 
Liher Niger (p. 229) as a tenant of the Earl of Essex (1^ fees de vet. fef.). 


Et servicium Mathei Peur[elli] ^ pro iiij militibus Et 
servicium Ade de Sum[er]i de feodo de Elmedona ^ pro 
iij militibus Et servicium Rann[ulfi] Briton[is] ^ pro i 
milite. Et prseterea quicquid Carta Regine testatur ei 
dedi et concessi. Omnia autem hec prsedicta tenementa, 
scilicet in terris et dominiis et serviciis militum et in Cus- 
todia turris Lon[doni8e] et Castelli quod turri subest 
et in Justiciis et Vicecomitatibus et omnibus praedictis 
rebus et consuetudinibus et libertatibus, dedi ei et firmiter 
concessi Comiti Gaufredo in feodo et hereditate de me et 
de meis heredibus sibi et heredibus suis pro servicio suo. 
Quare volo et firmiter prsecipio quod ipse et heredes sui 
post eum habeant et teneant omnia ilia tenementa et con- 
cessiones adeo libere et quiete et honorifice sicut aliquis 
omnium Comitum totius Anglise aliquod suum tenementum 
tenet vel tenuit liberius et honorificentius et quietius et 

T[estibus] M. Regina et H[enrico] Ep[iscop]o Win- 
t[onensi] et W[illelmo] Com[ite] Warenn[a] et Com[ite] 
Gisl[eberto] de Pembroc et Com[ite] Gisl[eberto] de heort- 
ford et W[illelmo] Com[ite] de Albarm[arla] et Com[ite] 
Sim[one] et Comite Will[elmo] de Sudsexa et Com[ite] 
Alan[o] et Com[ite] Rob[erto] de Ferrers et Will[elmo] 

But what is here granted is the manor of Springfield Hall, which William 
de Boseville held of the honour of Peverel " of London," by the service of 
two knights. Mathew Peverel, the Tresgoz family, and the Mauduits were 
all tenants of the same honour. 

^ Mathew Peverel similarly appears in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I. as 
holding land in Essex and Norfolk. In the above inquisition William 
Peverel holds five fees of the honour. 

* Elmdon (Essex) had been held of Eustace of Boulogne at the Survey 
by Roger de Someri, ancestor of the family of that name seated there. 
Stephen was of course entitled to their servicium in right of his wife. Adam 
de Sumeri held seven fees of the Earl of Essex in 1166. 

^ Possibly the Ralph Brito who appears in the Pipe- Rolls of Hen. II. as 
holding terrm datse " in Chatelega," and who also figures as " Ralph le 
Bret," under Essex, in the Liber Niger (p. 242), and as Radulfus Brito, a 
tenant of Robert de Helion (ihid.^ p. 240). 


de Ip[ra] et Will[elmo] Mart[el] et Bald[wino] fil[io] 
Gisl[eberti] et Eob[erto] de V[er] et Pharam[o] et Eic[ardo] 
de Luci et Turg[isio] de Abrincis et Ada de Belum. Apud 

It will at once be seen that this charter is one of 
extraordinary interest. 

The first point to strike one, on examining the list of 
witnesses, is the presence of no less than eight earls and 
of no more than one bishop. To these, indeed, we may 
add perhaps, though by no means of necessity, the Earl of 
Essex himself. Though the evidence is, of course, merely 
negative, it is probable, to judge from similar cases, that 
had other bishoiDs been present, they would appear among 
the witnesses to the charter. The absence of their names, 
therefore, is somewhat difficult to explain, unless (if 
present) they were at enmity with Geoffrey. 

Another point deserving of notice is that this great 
gathering of earls enables us to draw some important con- 
clusions as to the origin and development of their titles. 
We may, for instance, safely infer that when a Christian 
name was borne by one earl alone, he used for his style 
that name with the addition of '' Comes " either as a 
prefix or as a suffix. Thus we have in this instance 
''Comes Alanus " and ''Comes Simon." But when two 
or more earls bore the same Christian name, they had to 
be distinguished by some addition. Thus we have *' Comes 
Gislebertus de Pembroc " and " Comes Gislebertus de 
Heortford," or "Comes Eobertus de Ferrers," as distin- 
guished from Earl Robert "of Gloucester." The addition 
of " de Essexa" to Earl Geoffrey himself, which is found 
in this and other charters (see pp. 158, 183), can only, 
it would seem, be intended to distinguish him from Count 

^ Duchy of Lancaster, Boyal Charters, Xo. IS. 


Geoffrey of Anjou. But here the striking case is that 
of *' Willelmo Comite Warenna," *' Willelmo Comite de 
Albarmarla," and *' Comite Willelmo de Sudsexa." These 
examples show us how perfectly immaterial was the source 
from which the description was taken. ** Warenna" is 
used as if a surname ; " Albarmarla " is *' Aumale," a 
local name ; and ^* Sudsexa " needs no comment. The 
same noble who here attests as Earl of *' Albarmarla " 
elsewhere attests as Earl '* of York," while the Earl ** of 
Sussex " is elsewhere a witness as Earl ** of Chichester " 
or *'of Arundel." In short, the " Comes " really belongs 
to the Christian name alone. The descriptive suffix is 
distinct and immaterial. But the important inference 
which I draw from the conclusion arrived at above is that 
where we find such descriptive suffix employed, we may 
gather that there was in existence at the time some other 
earl or count with the same Christian name.^ 

Among the earls, we look at once, but we look in vain, 
for the name of Waleran of Meulan. But his half-brother, 
William de Warenne, one, like himself, of the faithful 
three,^ duly figures at the head of the list. He is followed 
by their brother-in-law, the Earl of Pembroke, whose 
nephew and namesake, the Earl of Hertford, and brother, 
Baldwin fitz Gilbert, are also found among the witnesses. 
With them is another of the faithful three. Earl Simon of 
Northampton. There too is Earl Alan of Kichmond, and 

* This same principle is well illustrated by two cartse, which follow one 
another in the pages of the liiher Niger. They are those of " Willelmus 
filius Johannis de Herpetreu " and " Willelmus filius Johannis de WestonaJ* 
Here the suffix (which in such cases is rather a crux to genealogists) clearly 
distinguishes the two Williams, and is not the appellation of their respective 
fathers (as it sometimes is). This leads us to such styles as " Beauchamp de 
Somerset " and " Beauchamp de Warwick," " Willoughby d'Eresby " and 
" Willoughby de Beke." Many similar instances are to be found in writs of 
summons, and, applying the above principle, we see that, in all cases, the 
suffix must originally have been added for the sake of distinction only. 

' See p. 120. 



the fortunate William of Albini, now Earl William of 
Sussex. Eobert of Ferrers and William of Aumale, both 
of them heroes of the Battle of the Standard, complete the 
list of earls. ^ 

It would alone be sufficient to make this charter of 
importance that it affords the earliest record evidence of 
the existence of two famous earldoms, that of Hertford or 
Clare, and that of Arundel or Sussex.^ Indeed I know 
of no earlier mention in any contemporary chronicler. 
We further learn from it that William of Ypres was not 
an earl at the time, as has been persistently stated. Nor 
have I ever found a record in which he is so styled. 
Lastly, we have here a noteworthy appearance of one 
afterwards famous as Richard de Luci the Loyal, who was 
destined to play so great a part as a faithful and trusted 
minister for nearly forty years to come.^ His appearance 
as an attesting witness at least as early as this (Christmas, 
1141) is a fact more especially deserving of notice because 
it must affect the date of many other charters. Mr. Eyton 
thought that ** his earliest attestation yet proved is 1146,"* 
and hence found his name a difficulty, at times, as a 
witness. William Martel was another official in constant 
attendance on Stephen. He is described in the Gesta 
(p. 92) as " vir illustris, fide quoque et amicitia potissi- 
mum regi connexus." At the affair of Wilton, with its 
disgraceful surprise and rout of the royal forces, he was 
made prisoner and forced to give Sherborne Castle as the 

' Of the absentees, the Earl of Chester and his half-brother the Earl of 
Lincoln wiil be found accounted for below, as will also the Earl of "Warwick ; 
the Earl of Leicester was absent, like his brother the Count of Meulan, but 
he generally, as here, held aloof; the Earls of Gloucester, Cornwall, Devon, 
and Hereford were, of course, with the Empress. Thus, with the nine 
mentioned in the charter, we account for some eighteen earls, 

2 See Appendix M, on the latter earldom. 

» See p. 49, n. 4. 

* Add. MSS., 31,943, fol. 85 dors. 


price of his liberty (ibid.). By his wife '' Albreda " he was 
father of a son and heir, Geoffrey.-^ 

Of the remaining witnesses, Pharamus (fitz William) 
de Boulogne was nepos of the queen. In 1130 he was in- 
debted £20 to the Exchequer " pro placitis terre sue 
[Surrey] et ut habeat terram suam quam Noverca sua 
tenet " (Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I., p. 50). In the present 
year (1141) he had been in joint charge of the king's 
familia during his captivity: — '^Eexit autem familiam 
regis Stephani Willelmus d'Ipre, homo Flandrensis et 
Pharamus nepos reginae Matildis, et iste Bononienisis " 
{Sym. Dun., ii. 310). His ravages — ''per destructionem 
Faramusi " — are referred to in the Pipe-Eoll of 1156 (p. 
15), but he retained favour under Henry II., receiving £60 
annually from the royal dues in Wendover and Eton. 
In May, 1157, he attested, at Colchester, the charter of 
Henry II. to Feversham Abbey (Stephen's foundation). 
He held six fees of the honour of Boulogne. His grand- 
father, Geoffrey, is described as a nepos of Eustace of 
Boulogne. With his daughter and heiress Sibyl, his 
lands passed to the family of Fiennes. 

Eobert de V(er) would be naturally taken for the 
younger brother of Aubrey the chamberlain, slain in 
1141.^ This might seem so obvious that to question it 
may appear strange. Yet there is reason to believe that 
his identity was wholly different. I take him to be 
Eobert (fitz Bernard) de Vere, who is presumably the 
*' Eobert de Vere " who figures as an Essex landowner in 
the Pipe-Eoll of 1130, for he is certainly the '' Eobert de 
Vere " who is entered in that same roll as acquiring lands 

* Colchester Cartulary (Stowe MSS.). See also p. 406. 

2 As by Mr. Eyton {Addl. MSS., 31,943, fol. 9G). The said Eobert ap- 
pears in the latter part of this reign as " Robertus filius Alberici de Ver " 
(Report on MSS. of Wells Cathedral, p. 133), and sent in his carta in 
1166 as "Robertus filius Alberici Camerarii," not as Robert de Vere. 


in Kent, with his wife, for whom he had paid the Crown 
^210, at that time a large sum. She was an heiress, 
(sister of Eobert and) daughter of Hugh de Montfort, 
a considerable landowner in Kent and in the Eastern 
Counties. With her he founded, on her Kentish estate, 
the Cluniac priory of Monks Horton, and in the charters 
relating to that priory he is spoken of as a royal con- 
stable. As such he attested the Charter of Liberties 
issued by Stephen at Oxford in 1136. I am therefore of 
opinion that he is the witness who attests this Canter- 
bury charter, the Oxford charter of about a year later,^ 
and some others in the course of this reign. ^ He had 
also witnessed some charters towards the close of the 
preceding reign, and would seem to be the Eobert de Ver 
who was among those who took charge of the body of 
Henry I. at his death. ^ 

Baldwin fitz Gilbert occurs repeatedly in the Pipe-Eoll 
of 31 Hen. I. He was a younger son of Gilbert de Clare, 
a brother of Gilbert, afterwards Earl of Pembroke, and 
uncle of Gilbert, Earl of Hertford. He appears, as early 
as January, 1136, in attendance on Stephen, at Eeading, 
where he witnessed one of the charters to Miles of 
Gloucester. He was then sent by the king into Wales to 
avenge the death of his brother Eichard (de Clare) ; but, 
on reaching Brecknock, turned back in fear {Gesta, p. 12). 
At the battle of Lincoln (February 2, 1141), he acted as 
spokesman on the king's behalf, and was captured by 
the forces of the Empress, after he had been covered with 

* Abingdon Cartulary^ ii. 179. 

^ See Appendix N, on " Robert de Vere." 

» See Ord. Vit, v. 52 (where the French editors aflSliate him wrongly). 

* " Tunc, quia rex Stephanus festiva carebat voce, B&ldewino filio Gille- 
berti, magnss nobilitatis viro et militi fortissimo, sermo exhortatorius ad uni- 
versum ccetum injuuctus est. . . . Capitur etiam Baldewinus qui orationem 


Turgis of Avranches (the namesake of its bishop) we 
have met with as a witness to Stephen's former charter 
to Geoffrey. He seems to have been placed, on Geoffrey's 
fall (1143), in charge of his castle of Walden, and, ap- 
parently, of the whole property. Though Stephen had 
raised him, it was said, from the ranks and loaded him 
with favours, he ended by offering him resistance, but 
was surprised by him, in the forest, when hunting, and 
forced to surrender {Gesta, p. 110). 

Passing now from the witnesses to the subject-matter 
of the charter, we have first the clause replacing Geoffrey 
in the same position as he was before the battle of Lin- 
coln, in despite of his treason to the king's cause. The 
next clause illustrates the system of advancing bids. 
Whereas the Empress had granted Geoffrey £100 a year, 
charged on certain manors of royal demesne in Essex, 
Stephen now increased that grant to £300 a year, by 
adding the manors of Writtle (£120) and Hatfield (£80). 
He further granted him another £100 a year payable 
from lands which had escheated to the Crown. And 
lastly, he granted to his son Ernulf £100 a year, likewise 
charged on land. 

The next clause grants him, precisely as in the charter 
of the Empress, the constableship of the Tower of London 
and of its appendant " castle," ^ with the exception that 
the Empress uses the term *' concedo " where Stephen 
has ** dedi et concessi." The latter expression is some- 
what strange in view of the fact that Geoffrey had been 
in full possession of the Tower before the struggle had 
begun, and, indeed, by hereditary right. 

We then return to what I have termed the system of 

fecerat persuasoriara, multis confossus vulneribus, multis contritus ictibus, ubi 
egregie resistendo gloriam promeruit sempiternam " (Hen. Hunt.^ pp. 271, 274). 
* See A-ppendix O : " Tower and Castle." 


advancing bids. For where the Empress had granted 
Geoffrey the office of justice and sheriff of Essex alone, 
Stephen makes him justice and sheriff, not merely of 
Essex, but of Herts and of London and Middlesex to boot. 
Nor is even this all ; for, whereas the Empress had allowed 
him to hold Essex to farm for the same annual sum 
which it had paid at her father's death,^ Stephen now 
leases it to him at the annual rent which his grandfather 
had paid.^ The fact that in the second charter of the 
Empress she adopts, we shall find, the original rental,^ 
instead of, as before, that which was paid at the time of 
her father's death, proves that, in this Canterbury 
charter, Stephen had outbid her, and further proves that 
Henry I. had increased, after his wont, the sum at which 
the sheriff held Essex of the Crown. This, indeed, is 
clear from the Pipe-Koll of 1130, which records a firma 
far in excess of the ^300 which, according to these 
charters, Geoffrey's grandfather had paid.^ It may be 
noted that while Stephen's charter gives in actual figures 
the "ferm" which had been paid by Geoffrey's grand- 
father, and which Geoffrey himself was now to pay for 
London and Middlesex, it merely provides, in the case of 
Essex and Hertfordshire, that he was to pay what his 
grandfather had paid, without mentioning what that sum 
was. Happily, we obtain the information in the subse- 
quent charter of the Empress, and we are tempted to infer 

^ " Reddendo mihi rectam firmam que inde reddi solebat die qua rex 
Henricu3 pater meus fuit vivus et mortuus." Perhaps this indefinite phrase 
was due to the fact that Essex and Herts had a joint firma at the time (see 
Rot Pip., 31 Hen. I.). 

2 " Eadem firma qua avus ejus . . . tenuit." 
' "Pro CCC libris sicut idem Gaufredus avus ejus tenuit." 
* The firma of Essex with Herts, in 1130, was £120 3s. "ad pensum," 
plus £26 17s. " numero,"2)Zws £86 19s. dd. " blancas," whereas Geoflfrey secured 
the two for £360. The difieience between this sum and the joint ^rma of 
1130 curiously approximates that at London (see Appen lix, p. 366, n.). 


from the silence of this earlier charter on the point, that 
while the ancient firma of London and Middlesex was a 
sum familiar to men, that of Essex and Herts could only 
be ascertained by research, pending which the Crown 
declined to commit itself to the sum. 

It is scarcely necessary that I should insist on the 
extraordinary value of this statement and formal admission 
by the Crown that London and Middlesex had been held 
to farm by the elder Geoffrey de Mandeville — that is, 
towards the close of the eleventh century, or, at latest, in 
the beginning of the twelfth — and that the amount of the 
firma was a£300 a year. One cannot understand how 
such a fact, of which the historical student cannot fail to 
grasp the importance, can have been overlooked so long, 
when it has virtually figured in Dugdale's Baronage for 
more than two centuries. The only writer, so far as I 
know, who has ventured on an estimate of the annual 
render from London at the time of Domesday arrives at 
the conclusion that "we can hardly be wrong in putting 
the returns at . . . about ^850 a year." ^ We have seen 
that, on the contrary, the rental, even later than Domes- 
day, was £300 a year, and this not for London only, but 
for London and Middlesex together.^ 

Nothing, indeed, could show more plainly the necessity 
for such a work as I have here undertaken, and the new 
light which the evidence of these charters throws upon the 
history of the time, than a comparison of the results 
here obtained with the statements in Mr. Loftie's work,^ 
published under the editorship of Professor Freeman, 
which, though far less inaccurate than his earlier and 
larger work, contains such passages as this : — 

^ Pearson's History of England during the Early and Middle Ages, i. 6C4 
(" County Kentals in Domesdaj- "). 

2 See Appendix P : " The Early Admiuiatration of London." 
^ Historic Towns: London (18S7). 


"Matilda had one chance of conciliating the citizens, and she 
threw it away. The immemorial liberties which had been enjoyed 
for generations, and confirmed by "William and Henry, were taken 
from the city, which for the first and last time in its history was put 
'in demesne.' The Earl of Essex, Geoffrey de Mandeville, whose 
father is said by Stow to have been portreeve, was given Middlesex 
' in farm ' with the Tower for his castle, and no person could hold 
pleas either in city or county without his permission. The feelings 
of the Londoners were fully roused. Though Stephen was actually a 
prisoner, and Matilda's fortunes never seemed brighter, her cause was 
lost . . . The citizens soon saw that her putting them in demesne 
was no mistake committed in a hasty moment in times of confusion, 
but was part of a settled policy. This decided the waverers and 
doubled the party of Stephen. . . . Stephen was exchanged for the 
Earl of Gloucester, the Tower was surrendered, the dominion was 
removed, and London had its liberty once more ; but after such an 
experience it is not wonderful that the citizens held loyally to Stephen 
during the short remainder of his life " (pp. 36, 37).^ 

A more complete travesty of history it would not be 
possible to conceive. ** The immemorial liberties" were 
no older than the charter wrung from Henry a few years 
before, and so far from the city being " put * in demesne ' " 
(whatever may be meant by this expression),^ ''for the 
first and last time in its history," the Empress, had she 
done what is here charged to her, would have merely 
placed Geoffrey in the shoes of his grandfather and name- 
sake.^ But the strange thing is that she did nothing of 
the kind, and that the facts, in Mr. Loftie's narrative, are 

* The two omitted portions amount to but a few lines. There is, how- 
ever, an error in each. The first implies that the charter to Geoffrey was 
granted before the Empress reached, or was even invited to, London. The 
second contains the erroneous statement that the Empress, on her flight from 
London, " withdrew towards Winchester," and that her brother was captured 
by the Londoners in pursuit, wheieas he was not captured till after the siege 
of Winchester, later in the year, and under different circumstances. 

2 It looks much as if Mr. Loftie had here again attempted to separate 
London from Middlesex, and to treat the former as granted "in demesne," 
and the latter " in farm." Such a conception is quite erroneous, 

2 It was his grandfather and not (as Mr. Loftie writes) his "father" 
who "is said by Stow to have been portreeve." 


turned topsy-turvey. It was not by Matilda in June, but 
by Stephen in December, that London and Middlesex 
were placed in Geoffrey's power. The Empress did not do 
that which she is stated to have done ; and Stephen did 
do what he is said to have undone. The result of his 
return to power, so far as London was concerned, was that 
the Tower was not surrendered, but, on the contrary, con- 
firmed to Geoffrey, and that so far from ''the dominion" 
(an unintelligible expression) being ''removed," or London 
regaining its liberty, it was now deprived of its liberty by 
being placed, as even the Empress had refrained from 
placing it, beneath the yoke of Geoffrey. Thus it was 
certainly not due to his conduct on this occasion "that 
the citizens of London held loyally to Stephen during the 
short remainder of his life." Nor, it may be added, is it 
possible to understand what is meant by that " short 
remainder," for these events happened early in Stephen's 
reign, not a third of which had elapsed at the time. 

But the important point is this. Here was Stephen 
anxious on the one hand to reward the Londoners for 
their allegiance, and, on the other, to punish Geoffrey for 
his repeated offences against himself, and yet compelled 
by the force of circumstances actually to reward Geoffrey 
at the cost of the Londoners themselves. We need no 
more striking illustration of the commanding position and 
overwhelming power which the ambitious earl had now 
obtained by taking advantage of the rival claims, and 
skilfully holding the balance between the two parties, as 
was done by a later king-maker in the strife of Lancaster 
and York. 

Passing over for the present the remarkable expres- 
sions which illustrate my theory of the differentiation of 
the offices of justice and sheriff, I would invite attention 
to Geoffrey's claim to be placed in the shoes of his grand- 


father, as an instance of the tendency, in this reign, of 
the magnates to advance quasi-hereditary claims, often 
involving, as it were, the undoing of the work of Henry I. 
William de Beauchamp was anxious to be placed in the 
shoes of Eobert le Despenser ; the Beaumont Earl of 
Leicester in those of William Fitz Osbern; the Earl of 
Oxford in those of William of Avranches; and Geoffrey 
himself, we shall find, in those of "Eudo Dapifer." 

A point of great importance awaits us in the reference 
which, in this charter, is made to the Exchequer. I 
expressed a doubt, when dealing with the first charter 
of the Empress,^ as to the supposed total extinction of 
the working of the Exchequer under Stephen. The author 
of the Dialogus, though anxious to emphasize its re-estab- 
lishment under Henry II., goes no further than to speak 
of its system being '' pene prorsus abolitam" in the terrible 
time of the Anarchy (i. viii.). Now here, in 1141, at the 
very height, one might say, of the Anarchy, we not only 
find the Exchequer spoken of as in full existence, but, 
which is most important to observe, we have the precise 
Exchequer formulse which we find under Henry II. The 
*' Terrae datae," or alienated Crown demesnes, are repre- 
sented here by the " dominia que de predictis comitatibus 
data sunt,'* and the provision that they should be sub- 
tracted from the fixed ferm (''a firma subtrahantur ") 
is a formula found in use subsequently, as is, even more, 
the phrase ** ad scaccarium computabuntur." ^ 

The next clause deals with castles, that great feature 
of the time. Here again the accepted view as to Stephen's 
laxity on the subject is greatly modified by this evidence 
that even Geoffrey de Mandeville, great as was his power, 

» See p. 99. 

* " Et computabitur tibi ad scaccarium " is the regular form found in the 
precepts of Henry II. (Dialogus, ii. 8). 


deemed it needful to secure the royal permission before 
erecting a castle, and that this permission was limited 
to a single fortress.^ 

In the next clause we return to the system of counter- 
bids. As the king had trebled the grants of Crown 
demesne made to Geoffrey by the Empress, and trebled 
also the counties which had been placed in his charge 
by her, so now he trebled the number of enfeoffed knights 
(" milites feudatos "). The Empress had granted twenty ; 
Stephen grants sixty. Of these sixty, ten were to be held 
of Geoffrey by his son Ernulf. Here, as before,^ the 
question arises : what was the nature of the benefits thus 
conferred on the grantee? They were, I think, of two 
kinds. In the first place, Geoffrey became entitled to 
what may be termed the feudal profits, such as reliefs, 
accruing from these sixty fees. In the second, he secured 
sixty knights to serve beneath his banner in war. This, 
in a normal state of affairs, would have been of no 
consequence, as he would only have led them to serve 
the Crown. But in the then abnormal condition of affairs, 
and utter weakness of the crown, such a grant would be 
equivalent to strengthening 'pro tanto the power of the 
earl as arbiter between the two rivals for the throne. 

Independently, however, of its bearing at the time, 
this grant has a special interest, as placing at our disposal 
a list of sixty knights' fees, a quarter of a century older 
than the ** cartas " of the Liher Niger. ^ 

^ See also, for Stephen's attitude towards the ** adulterine " castles, the 
Gesta Stephani (p. 66) : " Plurima adulterina castella, alia sola adventus sui 
fama vacuata, alia viribus virtuose adhibitis conquisita subvertit : omnesque 
circumjacentes provincias, quas castella inhabitantes intolerabili infestatione 
degravabant, purgavit tunc omnino, et quietissima reddidit" (1140). 

2 See p. 103. 

' Note here the figures 60, 20, 10, as confirming the theory advanced by 
me in the English Historical Review (October, 1S91) as to knight-service 
being grouped in multiples of ten (the constahularia). 


At the close of all these specified grants comes a 
general confirmation of the lost charter of the Queen 
(^' Carta Regine"). 

Our ignorance of the actual contents of that charter 
renders it difficult to speak positively as to whether 
Geoffrey obtained from Stephen all the concessions he 
had wrung from the Empress, or had to content himself, 
on some points, with less, while on most he secured 
infinitely more. Thus, in the matter of '' the third penny," 
which was specially granted him by the Empress, we find 
this charter of Stephen as silent as had been the former.^ 
And the omission of a clause authorizing the earl to 
deduct it from the ferm of the county virtually implies 
that he did not receive it. He gained, however, infinitely 
more by the great reduction in the total ferm. The grant 
by the Empress of a market at Bushey, and her permis- 
sion that the market at Newport should be transferred 
to his castle at Walden, are not repeated in this charter ; 
nor does the king, as his rival had done, grant the earl 
permission to fortify the Tower at his will, or to retain 
and strengthen the castles he already possessed. On the 
other hand, he allowed him, by a fresh concession, to 
raise an additional stronghold. It may also be mentioned, 
to complete the comparison, that the curious reference to 
appeal of treason is not found in the king's charter. 

We will now turn from this charter to the movements 
by which it was followed. 

At the close of the invaluable passage from Gervase 

alluded to above, we read : — 

" Eex Stephanus a Cantuaria recedens vires suas reparare studuit, 
quo severius et acrius imperatricem et omnes ipsius complices de- 

His first step in this direction was to make a progress 

* See Appendix H. ' Gervase of Canterbury, 1. 123. 


through his realm, or at least through that portion over 
which he reigned supreme. William of Malmesbury 
writes of his movements after Christmas : — 

"Utrseque partes imperatricis et regis se cum quietis modestia 
egerunt a Natale usque ad Quadragesimam ; magis sua custodire 
quam ahena incursare studentes : rex in superiores regiones abscessit 
nescio quse compositurus " (p. 763). 

This scrupulous reluctance of the writer to relate 
events of which he had no personal knowledge is evidently 
meant to confirm his assurance, just above, that he had 
the greatest horror of so misleading posterity.^ The 
thread of the narrative, however, which he drops is taken 
up by John of Hexham, who tells us that '* after Easter" 
(April 19) the king and queen arrived at York, put a 
stop to a projected tournament between the two great 
Yorkshire earls, and endeavoured to complete the pre- 
parations for the king's revenge upon his foes.^ 

Before proceeding, I would call attention to two 
charters which must, it seems, have passed between the 
king's visit to Canterbury (Christmas, 1141), and his 

* " Semper quippe horrori habui aliquid ad posteros transmittendum 
stylo committere, quod nescirem solida veritato subsistere. Ea porro, quse 
de prsesenti anno dicenda, hoc habebunt principium." 

* " Post Pascha Stephanus, prosequente eum regina sua Mathilda, veuit 
Eboracum militaresque nundinas a Willelmo comite Eboraci et Alano 
comite de Richemunt adversus alterutrum conductas solvit ; habuitque 
in votis pristinas suas injurias ultum ire, et regnum ad antiquam dignitatem 
et integritatem reformare" {8ym. Dww., ii. 312). Notice that John of Hexham 
always speaks of Alan as Earl " of Richmond " and William as Earl " of 
York." He is probably the first writer to speak of an Earl " of Richmond," 
and this early appearance of the title was clearly unknown to the Lords' 
committee when they drew up their elaborate account of its origin and 
descent (Third Eeport on the Dignity of a Peer). If, as I believe, no county 
could, at this period, have two earls, it follows that either Alan " Comes " 
did not hold an English earldom, and was merely described as of Richmond 
because that was his seat ; or, that " Richmondshire " was, at that time, 
treated as a county of itself. One or other of these alternatives must, I 
think, be adopted. But see also p. 290, w. 2. 


appearance with the queen in Yorkshire (Easter, 1142). 
I do so, firstly, because their witnesses ought to be com- 
pared with those by whom the Canterbury charter was 
attested ; secondly, because one of them is a further 
instance of how, as in the case of the Canterbury charter, 
chronicles and charters may be made to confirm and 
explain each other. 

The first of these charters is the confirmation by 
Stephen of the foundation, by his constable Kobert de 
Vere, of Monks Horton Priory, Kent.^ If we eliminate 
from its eleven witnesses those whose attendance was due 
to the special contents of the charter, namely, the Count 
of Eu and two Kentish barons,^ there remain eight 
names, every one of which appears in the Canterbury 
charter, one as grantee and seven as witnesses. Here 
is the list : 

*' Testibus Comite Gaufrido de Essex et Willelmo 
Comite de Warrenne . . . Et Comite Gilleberto de Penbroc 
et Willelmo de Ipra et Willelmo Mart [el] et Turgisio de 
Abrincis et Ricardo de Luci et Adam de Belu[n] . . . apud 

Here then we have what might be described as King 
Stephen's Restoration Court, or at least the greater 
portion of its leading members ; and this charter is there- 
fore evidence that Stephen must have visited the Eastern 
Counties early in 1142. It is also evidence that Earl 
Geoffrey was with him on that occasion, and thus throws 
a gleam of light on the earl's movements at the time. 

The other charter is known to us only from a tran- 
script in the Great Coucher (vol. ii. fol. 445), and is 

> Barl. MS., 2044, fol. 55 6; Addl MSS., 5516, No. 9, p. 7 (printed in 
ArcJissologia Cantiana, x. 272, but not in Dngdale's Monasticon). 

* Robert de Creveccenr and William de Eynsford. The Count of Eu 
was a benefactor to the priory. 


strangely assigned in the official calendar to 1135-37.^ 
The grantee is William, Earl of Lincoln, and the list of 
witnesses is as follows : — 

** T. Com. Rann. et Com. Gisl. de Pembroc * et Com. 
Gisl. de hertf.* et Com. Sim.* et Com. R. de Warwic' et 
Com. R. de Ferr.* et W. mart.* et Bald. fil. Gisl.* et 
W. fil. Gisl. et Ric. de Camvill et Ric. fil. Ursi * et 
E[u8tachio] fil. John' et Rad. de Haia et h' Wac' et W. 
de Coleuill apud Stanf." 

Of these fifteen witnesses at least five are local men, 
and of the remaining ten no fewer than seven (here dis- 
tinguished by an asterisk) had attested the Canterbury 
charter. But further evidence of the close connection, 
in date, between these two charters is found in yet another 
quarter. This is the English Chronicle. We there read 
that after the release of Stephen from his captivity, **the 
king and Earl Randolf agreed at Stamford and swore 
oaths and plighted troth, that neither of them should 
prove traitor to the other." For this is the earliest 
occasion to which that passage can refer. Stephen would 
pass through Stamford on his northward progress to York, 
and here, clearly, at his entrance into Lincolnshire, he was 
met by the two local magnates, William, Earl of Lincoln, 
and Randolf, Earl of Chester. Their revolt at Lincoln, 
at the close of 1140, had led directly to his fall, but it 
was absolutely needful for the schemes he had in view 
that he should now secure their support, and overlook 
their past treason. He therefore came to terms with the 
two brother earls, and, further, bestowed on the Earl of 
Lincoln the manor of Kirton in Lindsey (*' Chircheton "), 
and confirmed him in possession of his castle of Gains- 
borough and his bridge over Trent, "libere et quiete 
tenendum omnibus liberis consuetudinibus cum quibus 

* Thirty -fir it Report of Deputy Keeper, p. 2. 


aliquis comes Anglie tenet castella sua," — a formula well 
deserving attention as bearing on the two peculiar features 
of this unhappy time, its earls and its castles. 

Lastly, we should observe the family relationship 
between the grantee and the witnesses of this charter. 
The first witness was his half-brother. Earl Eandolf of 
Chester, who was uncle of Earl Gilbert of Hertford, who 
was nephew of Earl Gilbert of Pembroke, who was brother 
of W(alter) fitz Gilbert and Baldwin fitz Gilbert, of whom 
the latter's daughter married H(ugh) Wac (Wake). Of 
the other witnesses, Ealph de Haye was of the family 
which then, and Richard de Camville of that which after- 
wards, held the constableship of Lincoln Castle. Earl 
E(oger) of Warwick (a supporter of the Empress) should 
be noticed as an addition to the Canterbury list of earls, 
and the descriptive style **de Warwica " may perhaps be 
explained as inserted here to distinguish him from Earl 
E(obert) "de Ferrers." 

Gervase of Canterbury and John of Hexham alike lay 
stress on the fact that the king, eager for revenge, was bent 
on renewing the strife. William of Malmesbury echoes the 
statement, but tells us that the king was struck down just 
as he was about, we gather, to march south. As it was 
at Northampton that this took place he must have been 
following the very same road as he had done at this same 
time of year in 1138.^ Nor can we doubt that his objective 
was Oxford, now again the head-quarters of his foe.^ So 
alarming was his illness that his death was rumoured, 

^ He held a couDcil at Xortbampton on his way south ia Easter 
week, 1138. 

2 "William of Malmesbury writes : " In ipsis Paschalibus feriis regem 
qusedam (ut aiunt) dura meditantem gravis incommodum morbi apud 
Northamptunam detinuit, adeo ut in tota propemodum Anglia sicut mortuus 
conclamaretur " (p. 763). There is a discrepancy of date between this 
statement and that of John of Hexham, who states that Stephen did not 
reach York till " post Pascha." "William's chronology seems the more probable. 


and the forces lie had gathered were dismissed to their 

But, meanwhile, where was Ea,rl Geoffrey? We have 
seen that early in the year he was present with Stephen 
at Ipswich.^ If we turn to the Flly History, printed in 
Wharton's Anglia Sacra, we shall find evidence that he 
was, shortly after, despatched with Earl Gilbert of 
Pembroke, who had been with him at Ipswich, to Ely.^ 
When Stephen had successfully attacked Ely two years 
before (1140), the bishop had fled, with three companions, 
to the Empress at Gloucester. His scattered followers had 
now reassembled, and it was to expel them from their 
stronghold in the isle that Stephen despatched the two 
earls. Geoffrey soon put them to flight, doubtless at 
Aldreth, and setting his prisoners on horseback, with their 
feet tied together, led them in triumph to Ely.^ To the 
monks, who came forth to meet him with their crosses 
and reliquaries, he threatened plunder and death, and 
their possessions were at once seized into the king's hands. 
But, meanwhile, their bishop's envoy to the pope, " a man 
skilled in the use of Latin, French, and English," had 
returned from Rome with letters to the primates of 
England and Normandy, insisting that Nigel should be 
restored to his see. The monks, also, had approached 
Stephen and obtained from him a reversal of Geoffrey's 
violent action. Nigel, therefore, returned to Ely, to the 

^ "Prseventus vero infirmitate copias militum quas contraxerat remisit 
ad propria " {Sym. Dun., ii. 312). 

' Supra, p, 158. 

' " Dirigitur enim in Ely a rege Stephano cum militari manu in armis 
strenuus Comes Gaufridus de Mannavilla, associante ei Comite Gileberto, ut 
homines episcopi, qui tunc latenter aflfugerent, inde abigeret, aut gladiis 
truncaret" (Anglia Sacra, i. 621). Earl Gilbert was uncle to Earl Geoffrey's 

* " Qui festinus adveniens, hostilem turbam fugavit ; milites vero teneri 
jussit ; et equis impositos pedes eorum sub equis ligatos spectante populo 
usque in Ely perduxit " (ibid.). 



joy, we are told, of his monks and people ; and the two 
earls delivered into his hands the isle and Aldreth, its 

The point to insist upon, for our own purpose, is that 
the Earls Geoffrey and Gilbert were both concerned in this 
business, and that their names will again be found in 
conjunction in the records of that intrigue with the Empress 
which is the subject of the next chapter. 

' See Appendix Z : " Bishop Nigel at Rome." 

( i63 ) 



We left, it may be remembered, the Empress and her 
supporters assembled at Bristol, apparently towards the 
close of the year 1141. Their movements are now some- 
what obscure, and the hopes of the Empress had been so 
rudely shattered, that for a time her party were stunned 
by the blow. We gather, however, from William of 
Malmesbury that Oxford became her head-quarters,^ and 
it was at Oxford that she granted the charter which forms 
the subject of this chapter. 

From internal evidence it is absolutely certain that this 
charter is subsequent to that dealt with in the last chapter. 
That is to say, it must be dated subsequent to Christmas, 
1141. But it is also certain, from the fact that the Earl 
of Gloucester is a witness, that it must have passed 
previous to his departure from England at the end of 
June, 1142.2 

It may, at first sight, excite surprise that, after having 
extorted such concessions from Stephen, Geoffrey should 
so quickly turn to his rival, more especially when Stephen 
appeared triumphant, and the chances of his rival des- 
perate. But, on the one hand, in accordance with his 

* He states that the Earl of Gloucester, on his release, "circa gerraanam 
sedulo apud Oxeneford mansitabat ; quo loco, ut praefatus sum, ilia sedem 
sibi constituens, curiam fecerat " (p. 754). 

2 He set sail '* aliquanto post festum sancti Johannis " ( Will. Malms., p. 765). 


persistent policy, be hoped, by tbe offer of a fresb treason, 
to secure from tbe Empress an even bigber bid tban tbat 
Tvbicb be bad wrung from Stepben ; and, on tbe otber, tbe 
very weakness of tbe Empress, be must bave seen, would 
place ber more completely at bis mercy. In sbort, be 
now virtually aspired to tbe role of '^ tbe king-maker" 

Even be, however, strong though he was, could scarcely 
have attempted to stem tbe tide, while the flood of reaction 
was at its height. He watched, no doubt, for the first 
signs of an ebb in Stephen's triumph. It was not long 
before this ebb came in the form of that illness by which 
tbe king, as we saw, was struck down about tbe end of 
April, on bis way south, at Northampton.^ The dismissal 
of the host he bad so eagerly collected was followed by a 
rumour of his deatb.^ No one, it would seem, has ever 
noticed the strange parallel between this illness and that 
of 1136. In each case it was about the end of April tbat 
tbe king was thus seized, and in each case bis seizure 
gave rise to a widespread rumour of his death.* On tbe 
previous occasion that rumour bad been followed by an 
outburst of treason and revolt/ and it is surely, to say tbe 

' See the dazzling description of his power given by the author of the 
Gesta, who speaks of him as one " qui omnes regni primates et divitiarum 
poteutia et dignitatis excedebat opulentia ; turrim quoque Londoniarum in 
manu, sed et castella inexpugnabilis fortitudiuis circa civitatem constructa 
habebat, omnemque regni partem, qusB se regi subdiderat, ut ubique per 
regnum regis vices adimplens, et, in rebus agendis, rege avidius exaudiretur^ 
et in preeceptis injungendis, plus ei quam regi obtemperaretur " (p. 101). 
William of Newburgh, in the same spirit, speaks of him as " regi terribilis " 
(i. 44). 

2 See p. 160. 

' '• In tota propemodum Anglia sicut mortuus conclamaretur " (ibid.). 

* William of Malmesbury (ut supra) is the authority for 1142, and Henry 
of Huntingdon for 1136: "Ad Kogationes vero divulgatum est regem 
mortuum esse " (p. 259). 

* "Jam ergo coepit rabies prsedicta Normannorum, perjurio et proditione 
puUnlare " (VAd.). 


least, not improbable that it now gave the sign for which 
Geoffrey was watching, and led to the extraordinary 
charter with which we have here to deal. 

The movements of the Empress have also to be con- 
sidered in their bearing on the date of the charter. We 
learn from William of Malmesbury that she held two 
councils at Devizes, one about the 1st of April (Mid-Lent), 
and one at Whitsuntide (7-14 June). The latter council 
was held on the return of the envoys who had been 
despatched, after the former one, to request Geoffrey of 
Anjou to come to his wife's assistance. Geoffrey had 
replied that the Earl of Gloucester must first come over 
to him, and the earl accordingly sailed from Wareham 
about the end of June. It is most probable that he went 
there straight from Devizes, in which case he was not 
at Oxford after the beginning of June. In this case, 
that is the latest date at which the charter can have 

Although the original of this charter cannot, like its 
predecessor of the previous year, be traced down to this 
very day, we have the independent authorities of Dugdale 
and of another transcriber for the fact that it was duly 
recorded in the Great Coucher of the duchy.^ If the miss- 
ing volume, or volumes, of that work should come to light, 
I cannot entertain the slightest doubt that this charter 
will be found there entered. Collateral evidence in its 
favour is forthcoming from another quarter, for the record 
with which, as I shall show, it is so closely connected that 
the two form parts of one whole, has its existence proved 
by cumulative independent evidence. 

I have taken for my text, in this instance, the fine 

^ It would seem to have been entered immediately after that charter to 
Miles of Gloucester which 1 have printed on p. 11, and which precedes it in 
the transcripts. 


transcript from the Great Coucher in Lansd. MS. 229 (fol. 
109), with which I have collated Dugdale's transcript, 
among his MSS. at Oxford (L. 19), " ex magno registro in 
officio Ducatus Lancastrie." I have also collated another 
transcript which is among the Dodsworth MSS. (xxx. 113), 
and which was made in 1649. It is, unfortunately, in- 
complete. Yet another transcriber began to copy the 
charter, but stopped almost at once.^ I have given in the 
notes the variants (which are slight) in the Dodsworth 
and Dugdale transcripts. 

" Carta M. Imperatricis facta Com Gaufredo Essexiae de 
pluribus terris et libertatibus. 

M. Imperatrix. H. regis filia et Anglorum Domina. 
Archiepiscopis.^ Episcopis. Abbatibus. Comitibus. Baro- 
nibus. Justiciariis. Yicecomitibus. Ministris. et omnibus 
fidelibus suis Francis et Anglis totius Angliae et Nor- 
manniae Salutem. Sciatis me reddidisse et concessisse 
Comiti Gaufr[edo] Essexe omnia tenementa sua, sicut 
Gaufredus avus suus,^ aut Willelmus pater suus,^ aut 
ipsemet postea unquam melius vel liberius tenuerit ^ aliquo 
tempore in feodo et haereditate sibi et haeredibus suis, ad 
tenendum de me et de haeredibus meis. Videlicet in terris 
et turribus, in Castellis et Bailliis. Et nominatim Turrim 
Lund[oni8e] cum Castello quod subtus ^ est, ad firmandum 
et efforciandum ad voluntatem suam. Et Vicecomitatum 
Lund[oni8e] '' et Middelsex per CCC lib[ras] sicut Gaufredus 
auus eius tenuit. Et vicecomitatum Essex per CCC lib[ras] 
sicut idem Gaufredus auus eius tenuit.^ Et vicecomitatum 

^ Lansdowne MS. 259, fol. 66. ^ " Archiepiscopis, etc." (Dug.). 

= " suus " omitted (Dug.). * " ejus " (Dug.). 

* "tenuerunt" (Dug., Dods.). « " subjectum " (Dods.). 

^ " Lundoniee et MiddlesexigB " (Dug.). 

8 "Et. . . tenuit" (Essex shrievalty) omitted by Dugdale (and, con- 
sequently, in his Baronage also). 


de Heortfordscira per LX libras sicut avus eius tenuit. Et 
praeter hoc do et concedo eidem Gaufredo quod habeat 
haBreditabiliter Justicia Lund[oni8e] et Middelsex et Essex 
et de Hertfordscira, ita quod nulla alia justicia placitet in 
hiis supradictis vicecomitatibus nisi per eis^ \sic\. Et 
concedo illi,^ ut habeat illas C libratas terrae quas dedi illi, 
et servicium illorum XX militum sicut illud ei dedi et per 
aliam cartam meam confirmavi. Et illas CC libratas 
terrae quas Rex Stephanus et Matildis regina ei dederunt. 
Et illas C libratas terrae de terris Eschaetis quas idem Rex 
et Regina ei dederunt, et servicium militum quod ei 
dederunt, sicut habet inde cartas illorum. Et do ei totam 
terram quae fuit^ Eudonis Dapiferi in Normannia et Dapi- 
feratum ipsius. Et haec reddo ei ut Rectum suum ut 
habeat et teneat haereditabiliter, ita ne ponatur inde in 
placitum versus aliquem. Et si dominus mens Comes 
Andegaviae et ego voluerimus, Comes Gaufredus accipiet 
pro dominiis et terris quas habet Eschaetis et pro servicio 
militum* quod habet totam terram quae fuit Eudonis 
Dapiferi in Anglia sicut tenuit ea die qua fuit et vivus 
et ^ mortuus, quia hoc est Rectum suum, Praeter illas ^ 
libratas terrae quas ego dedi ei Et praeter seruicium XX 
militum quod ei dedi, Et praeter terram Ernulfi de 
Mannavill sicut earn tenet de Comite Gaufredo ex servicio 
X militum Et si potero perquirere erga Episcopum 
Lund[oniae] et erga ecclesiam Sancti Pauli Castellum de 
Storteford per Escambium ad Gratum suum tunc do et 
concedo illud ei et haeredibus suis in feodo et hereditate 
tenendum de me et haeredibus meis. Quod si facere non 
potero, tunc ei convenciono quod faciam illud prosternere 

* Dodsworth transcript closes here. * " illi " omitted by Dugdale. 
' " quae fuit " omitted by Dugdale. 

♦ " per servicium militare " (wrongly, Dug.). 

5 "et" omitted by Dugdale. ® "centum libratas " (Dug.). 


et ex toto cadere. Et concedo quod Ernulf[us] de Manna- 
vill teneat illas C libratas terrse quas ei dedi, et servicium 
X militum de Comite Gaufredo patre suo. Et praeter hoc 
do et concedo eidem Ernulfo C libratas terrae de terris 
Eschaetis Et servicium X militum ad tenendum de domino 
meo Comite Andegau[ie] et de me in capite baereditarie sibi 
et bseredibus suis de nobis et de baeredibus nostris videlicet 
Cristesbalam ^ et Benedis^ pro quanto valent. Et super- 
plus perficiam ei per considerationem Comitis Gaufredi. 
Et convenciono eidem Gaufredo Comiti Essex quod 
dominus meus Comes Andegauie vel ego vel filii nostri 
nullam pacem aut concordiam cum Burgensibus Lun- 
d[oniae] faciemus, nisi concessu et assensu praedicti Comitis 
Gaufredi quia inimici eius sunt mortales. Concedo etiam 
eidem Gaufredo quod novum castellum quod firmavit super 
Lviam ^ stet et remaneat ad efforciandum ad voluntatem 
suam. Concedo etiam ei quod firmet unum Castellum 
ubicunque voluerit in terra sua sicut ei per aliam cartam 
meam concessi, et quod stet et remaneat. Concedo etiam 
eidem Gaufredo quod ipse et omnes homines sui habeant 
et lucrentur omnia essarta sua libera et quieta de omnibus 
placitis facta usque ad diem qua servicio domini mei Comitis 
Andegavie ac meo adhesit. Haec autem omnia supradicta 
tenementa in omnibus rebus concedo ei tenenda haereditarie 
sibi et haeredibus suis de me et haeredibus meis. Quare 
volo et firmiter praecipio quod ipse Gaufredus comes et 
haeredes sui teneant haec omnia supradicta tenementa 
ita bene et in pace et libere et quiete et honorifice et 

^ Chreshall, alias Christhall, Essex. Part of the honour of Boulogne. 
Was held by Count Eustace, at the Survey, in demesne. Stephen granted 
it to his own son William, who gave it to Richard de Luci. 

2 Bendish Hall, in Eadwinter, Essex. Part of the honour of Boulogne. 
It was given by Stephen's son William to Faversham Abbey, Kent. 

3 This word is illegible. It baffled the transcriber in Lansd. MS. 259. 
Dugdale has " wiam." The riglit reading is " luiam," the river Lea being 
meant, as is proved by the Pipe-Roll of 14 Hen. II. 


plenarie sicut unquam aliquis Comitum meorum totius 
Angliae melius vel liberius tenuit vel tenet Et praeter hoc 
dedi Willelmo filio Otuet ^ fratri ejusdem Comitis Gaufredi 
C libratas terrae de terris Escaetis tenendis de me et de 
liseredibus meis in feudo et haereditate pro seruicio suo, 
et pro amore fratris sui Comitis Gaufredi. Concedo etiam 
quod Willelmus de Sai ^ habeat omnes terras et tenementa 
quae fuerunt patris sui, et ipse et haeredes sui, et quod 
Willelmus Cap'.^ habeat terram patris sui sine placito 
et ipse et haeredes sui. Concedo etiam eidem Comiti Gau- 
fredo quod Willelmus filius Walteri* et haeredes sui 
habeant custodiam Castelli de Windesh' et omnia sua 

* William fitz Otwel, Earl Geoffrey's " brother," is referred to by Earl 
William (Geoffrey's son) as his uncle (" avunculus ") in a charter confirming 
his grant of lands (thirty-tbree acres) in "Abi et Toresbi " to Greenfield 
Nunnery, Lincolnshire (Harl. Cart., 53, C, 50). He is also a witness, as 
" patruus mens," to a charter of Earl Geoffrey the younger {Sloane Cart.^ 
xxxii. 64), early in tbe reign of Henry II. He was clearly a " uterine " 
brother of Earl Geoffrey the elder, so that his father must have married 
William de Mandeville's widow — a fact unknown to genealogists. 

* William de Sai had married Beatrice, sister (and, in her issue, heiress) 
of the earl, by whom he was ancestor of the second line of Mandeville, Earl 
of Essex. In the following year he joined the earl in his furious revolt 
against the king. 

^ This was William " Oapra " (Chevre), whose family gave its name to 
the manor of " Chevers " in Mountnessing, county Essex. He was probably 
another brother-in-law of the earl, for I have seen a charter of Alice 
(Adelid[isJ) Capra, in which she speaks of Geoffrey's son, Earl William, as 
her nephew (" nepos "). There is also a cliarter of a Geoffrey Oapra and 
Mazelina (sic) his wife, which suggests that the name of Geoffrey may have 
come to the family from the earl. Thoby Priory, Essex, was founded (1141- 
1151) by Michael Capra, Eoesia his wife, and William, their son. The 
founder speaks (5f Koger fitz Kichard (" ex cujus munificentia mihi idem 
fundus pervenit"), who was the second husband (as I have elsewhere 
explained) of " Alice of Essex," n^e de Vere, the sister of Earl Geoffrey's 
wife. A Michael Capra and a William Capra, holding respectively four and 
four and a half knights' fees, were feudal tenants of Walter fitz Robert (the 
lord of Dunmow) in 1166. 

* William, son of Walter (Fitz Other) de Windsor, castellan of Windsor. 
In the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I., he appears as in charge of Windsor 
Forest, for which he renders his account. It is probably to this charter 
rather than to any separate grant that Dugdale refers in his account of the 


tenementa siciit ipse Willelmus et antecessores sui earn 
habuerunt de Kege H. patre meo et antecessoribus ipsius. 
Et quod Matheus de Eumilli ^ habeat terram patris sui 
quam Gaufridus de TurevilP tenet. Et Willelmus de 
Auco^ habeat Lauendonam sicut Rectum suum haereditarie. 
Concede etiam eidem Comiti Gaufredo quod omnes homines 
sui teneant terras et tenementa sua de quocunque teneant 
sine placito et sine pecuniae donatione et ut Rectum eis 
teneatur de eorum Calumpnijs sine pecuniae donatione Et 
quod Osb[ertus] Octod[enarii] ^ habeat illas XX libratas 
terrae quas ei dedi et confirmaui per cartam meam. 

** Hanc ^ autem convencionem et donationem tenendam 
affidavi manu mea propria in manu ipsius Comitis Gau- 
fredi. Et hujus fiduciae sunt obsides per fidem et Testes 
Robertus Comes Gloec' : et Milo Com' Heref : ^ et Brianus 
filius Comitis ; et Rob' fil' Reg' : '^ et Rob' de Cure' Dap : « 

^ This is an unusual name. As "William de Say is mentioned just 
before, it may be noted that bis son (Earl Geoffrey's nephew) promised (in 
1150-1160) to grant to Ramsey Abbey " marcatam redditus ex quo adipisci 
poterit quadraginta marcatas de hereditate sua, scilicet de terra Robert! 
de Eumele^^ (CJiron. Ram., p. 305). Mathew de Romeli, according to 
Dugdale, was the son of Robert de Romeli, lord of Skipton, by Cecily his 
wife. A Mathew de Romeli, with Alan his son, occur in a plea of 1236-7 
(^Bracton's Note-Book, ed. Maitland, iii. 189). 

^ Geoffrey de Tourville appears in 1130 as holding land in four counties 
(Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I.). 

* William de Ou (Auco) or Eu is returned in the carta of the Earl of 
Essex (1166) as holding four fees of him. 

* See Appendix Q, on " Osbertus Octodenarii." 

5 Dodsworth's transcript begins again here, and is continued down to 
" Belloc[ampo]." 

« " Comes Herefordi^ " (Dug.). 

' So also Dodsworth ; but Dugdale wrongly extends : " Robertus filius 
Reginaldi." See p. 94, n. 4. 

* Robert de Courci of Stoke (Courcy), Somerset. He figures in the Pipe- 
Roll of 31 Hen. I. As "Robert de Curci" he witnessed the Empress's 
charter creating the earldom of Hereford (July 25, 11-41), and as " Robert de 
Curci Dapifer" her confirmation of the Earl of Devon's gift (Mon. Aug., v. 
106 ; Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 391), both of them passing at Oxford, the latter 
(probably) in 1142, subsequent to the above charter. He was slain at 
Couusylth, 1157. 


et Joh'es filius Gisleberti : ^ et Milo de Belloc' : ^ et Ead' 
Paganell : ^ et Eob' de Oilli Conest' : ^ et Eob' fil' Helde- 

"Et^ convencionavi eidem Comiti Gaufredo pro posse 
mea quod Comes Andegavie dominus mens assecurabit ei 
manu sua propria illud idem '^ tenendum et Henricus filius 
meus similiter. Et quod rex Franciae erit inde ^ obses si 
facere potero. Et si non potero, faciam quod ipse Rex 
capiet in manu illud tenendum. Et de hoc debent esse 

* John Fitz Gilbert, marshal to the Empress, and brother, as the suc- 
ceeding charter proves, to William, her chancellor. With his father, Gilbert 
the Marshal (Mariscallus), he was unsuccessfully impleaded, under Henry I., 
by Robert de Venoiz and William de Hastings, for the office of marshal 
(Rot. Cart, 1 John), and in 1130, as John the Marshal (Mariscallus), he 
appears as charged, with his relief, in Wiltshire, for his father's lands and 
office (Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I.). He is mentioned among the " barons " on the 
side of the Empress at the siege of Winchester (Gesta Stephani), and he was, 
with Robert de Curcy, witness to her (Oxford) charter, which I assign in the 
last note to later in this year, as he also had been to her charter creating the 
earldom of Hereford (July 25, 1141). Subsequently, he witnessed the charter 
to the son of the Earl of Essex (vide post). He played some part in the next 
reign from his official connection with the Becket quarrel. See also p. 131. 

^ Miles de Beauchamp, son of Robert de Beauchamp, and nephew to 
Simon de Beauchamp, hereditary castellan of Bedford. In 1130 he appears 
in connection with Beds, and Bucks. (Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I.). With his 
brother (Salop Cartulary) Payn de Beauchamp (who afterwards married 
Rohaise, the widow of this Geoffrey de Mandeville), he had held Bedford 
Castle against the king for five weeks from Christmas, 1137, as heir-male to 
his uncle, whose daughter and heir, with the Bedford barony, Stephen had 
conferred on Hugh Pauper, brother of his favourite, the Count of Meulan 
(Ord. Vit; Gesta Steph.). Dugdale's account is singularly inaccurate. 
Simon, the uncle, must have been living in the spring of 1136, for he then 
witnessed, as a royal dapifer, Stephen's great (Oxford) charter. 
» See p. 91, n. 2. 

* Robert de Oilli the second, castellan of Oxford, and constable. Founder 
of Osney Priory. He appears in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Hen. I., and had wit- 
nessed, as a royal constahularius, Stephen's great (Oxford) charter of 1136, 
but had embraced the cause of the Empress in 1141 (see p. 66). He wit- 
nessed five others of the Empress's charters, all of which passed at Oxford 
(Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 391, 392, 396, 397). 

' See p. 95, note ^ 

^ Dodsworth's transcript recommences and is continued to the end. 

^ "Ibidem" (Dods., wrongly). 

® " Ijdem " (Dods., wrongly). 


obsides per fidem : Juhel de Moduana/ et Kobertus de 
Sabloill et Wido de Sabloill^ et Pagan' de Clarevall'^ et 
Gaufredus de Clarevall' et Andreas de Aluia:* et Pipinus 
de Turon' : et Absalon Eumarch' ^ et Keginaldus comes 
Cornubiae et Balduinus Comes Devon : et Gislebertus 
Comes de Penbr' : et Comes Hugo de Norff' : et Comes 
Albericus : et Henricus de Essex: et Petrus de Valon':^ 
et alii Barones mei quos habere voluerit et ego habere 
potero, erunt inde obsides similiter. Et qnod x'rianitas 
Angliae quae est in potestate mea capiet in manu istam 
supradictam conventionem tenendam eidem Comiti '^ 
Gaufredo et haeredibus suis de me et de haeredibus meis. 
Apud Oxineford.^ 

*' Sub magno sigillo dictae Matildis Imperatricis." 

Let us now, in accordance with the guiding principle 
on which I have throughout insisted, compare this charter 
seriatim with those by which it was preceded, with a view 
to ascertaining what further concessions the unscrupulous 

* " Meduana " (Dug., rightly). 

"^Johelus de Meduana " (Juhel of Mayenne) figures in the Pipe-Eoll 
of 31 Hen. I. as holding land in Devonshire. At the commencement of 
Stephen's reign, Geoffrey of Anjou had entrusted him with three of the 
castles he had captured in Normandy, on condition of receiving his support 
(i?. of Torigni). 

' Guy de Sable had accompanied the Empress to England in the autumn 
of 1139(Ord. F^7., V. 121). 

' Clairvaux was a castle in Anjou. Payn de Clairvaux (de Claris valUhus) 
had, in 1130, and for some time previously, been fermor of Hastings, in 
Sussex {Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I. p. 42). Later on, in Stephen's reign, he 
appears at Caen, witnessing a charter of Geoffrey, Duke of Normandy 
(Bayeux Liher Niger). 

4 " AMa " (Dug.). 5 Or " Rumard." Dugdale has " Rumard." 

« " Valoniis " (Dug.). 

Peter de Valoines. The occurrence of this great Hertfordshire baron is 
of special interest, because we have seen the Empress granting a charter to 
his father, Roger, in 1141. It is probable, therefore, that Roger had died in the 
interval. Peter himself died before 1166, when his younger brother, Robert, 
had succeeded him. His widow, Gundred (de Warrenne), was then living. 

^ " Comiti . . . meis." Dodsworth has only " Com etc." 

^ " cuin sigillo " (Dods.). 


earl had won by this last change of front. We shall find 
that, as we might expect, it marks a distinct advance. 

The earlier clauses do little more than specifically con- 
firm the privileges and possessions that he had inherited 
from his father or had already wrung from the eager rivals 
for the Crown. This was by no means needless so far as 
the Empress was concerned, for his desertion of her cause 
since her previous charter involved, as an act of treason, 
his forfeiture at her hands. These are followed by a new 
grant, namely, '* totam terram quae fuit Eudonis Dapiferi in 
Normannia et Dapiferatum ipsius," with a conditional 
proposal that Geoffrey should also, in exchange for the 
grants he had already received, obtain that portion of the 
Dapifer's fief which lay in England. The large estate 
which this successful minister had accumulated in the 
service of the Conqueror and his sons had escheated to 
the Crown at his death, and is entered accordingly in the 
Pipe-Koll of 31 Hen. I. This has an important bearing on 
the noteworthy admission in the charter that Geoffrey is 
to receive the Dapifer's fief not as a gift, but as his right 
("rectum suum"). This expression is referred to by Mr. 
Eyton in his MSS., as placing beyond doubt the received 
statement that Geoffrey was maternally a grandson of the 
Dapifer, whose daughter and heiress Margaret had married 
his father William. But this statement is taken from 
Dugdale, who derived it solely from the Historia Fundationis 
of St. John's Abbey, Colchester, a notoriously inaccurate 
and untrustworthy document printed in the Monasticon, 
The fact that this fief escheated to the Crown, instead of 
passing to the Mandevilles with the Dapifer's alleged 
daughter, is directly opposed to a story which has no 
foundation of its own.^ 

* The clause certainly favours the belief that a relationship existed, but 
it was probably collateral, instead of lineal. 


The next clause to be noticed is that which refers to 
Bishop's Stortford. It implies a peculiar antipathy to 
this castle on the part of Earl Geoffrey, an antipathy 
explained by the fact of its position, lying as it did on 
the main road from London to (Saffron) Walden, and thus 
cutting communications between his two strongholds. We 
have a curious allusion to this episcopal castle a few years 
before (1137), when Abbot Anselm of St. Edmund's, 
"who claimed to have been elected to the see, seized and 
held it.i 

The next additional grant made in this charter is 
that of '' C libratas terrae de terris eschaetis et servicium 
X militum " to the earl's son Ernulf. This is followed by 
what is certainly the most striking clause in the whole 
charter, that which binds the Empress and her husband ''to 
make no peace and come to no terms with the burgesses 
(sic) of London, without the permission and assent of the 
said Earl Geoffrey, because they are his mortal foes." 
Comment on the character of such a pledge on the part of 
one who claimed the crown, or on the light it throws on 
Geoffrey's doings, is surely needless. 

The clauses relating to Geoffrey's castles are deserving 
of special attention on account of the important part 
which the castle played in this great struggle. The 
erection of unlicensed (''adulterine") castles and their 
rapid multiplication throughout the land is one of the 
most notorious features of the strife, and one for which 
Stephen's weakness has been always held responsible. It 
is evident, however, from these charters that the Crown 
struggled hard against the abdication of its right to con- 
trol the building of castles, and that even when reduced 
to sore straits, both Stephen and the Empress made this 

' " Possessiones omnes ad ecclesiam pertinentes, castellum quoque de 
Storteford in sua dominatione recepit " { de Diceto, i. 250). 


privilege the subject of special and limited grant. By this 
charter the earl secures the license of the Empress for a 
new castle which he had erected on the Lea. He may have 
built it to secure for himself the passage of the river, it 
being for him a vital necessity to maintain communication 
between the Tower of London and his ancestral stronghold 
in Essex. But the remainder of the passage involves a 
doubt. The Empress professes to repeat the permission in 
her former charter that he may construct one permanent 
castle, in addition to those he has already, anywhere 
within his fief. Yet a careful comparison of this per- 
mission with that contained in her former charter, and 
that which was granted by Stephen, in his charter between 
the two, proves that she was really confirming what he, 
not she, had granted. 

Maud (1141). Stephen. Maud (1142). 

" Et prseterea con- " Et prseterea fir- " Concedo etiam ei 

cedo illi ut castella miter ei concessi Tit quod firmet unum 

sua que habet stent possit firmare quod- castellum ubicunque 

ei et remaneant ad dam castellum ubi- voluerit in terra sua, 

inforciandum ad vo- cunque voluerit in sicut ei -per aliam 

luntatem suam." terra sua, et quod cartam meam concessi, 

stare possit." et quod stet et re- 


As we can trace, in every other instance, the relation 
of the various charters without difficulty or question, it 
would seem that we have here to do with an error, whether 
or not intentional. 

We then come to the clauses in favour of Geoffrey's 
relatives and friends. This is a novel feature which we 
cannot afford to overlook. It is directly connected with 
the question of that important De Vere charter to which 
we shall shortly come. 

Lastly, there is the remarkable arrangement for 
securing the validity of the charter. Let us look at this 


closely.^ We should first notice that the Empress describes 
it, not as a charter, but as a '*convencio et donatio." 
Now this ''convencio" is a striking term, for it virtually 
denotes a treaty between two contracting powers. This 
conception of treaty relations between the Crown and its 
subjects is one of the marked peculiarities of this singular 
reign. It is clearly foreshadowed in those noteworthy 
charters which the powerful Miles of Gloucester secured 
from Stephen at his accession, and it meets us again in 
the negotiations between the youthful Henry of Anjou, 
posing as the heir to the crown, and the great nobles, 
towards the close of this same reign. It is in strict 
accordance with this idea that we here find the Empress 
naming those who were to be her sureties for her 
observance of this '' convencio," precisely as was done in 
the case of a treaty between sovereign powers.^ The 

' This negotiation between the Empress and Geoffrey should be compared 
with that between her and the legate in the spring of the preceding year. 
Each illustrates the other. In the latter case the expression used is, 
"Juravit et affidavit imperatrix episcopo quod," etc. In the former, the 
empress is made to say, " Hanc autem convencionem et donacionem tenendam 
affidavi" etc. But the striking point of resemblance is that in each case 
her leading followers are made to take part in the pledge of performance. 
At Winchester, we read in William of Malmesbury, " Idem juraverunt cum 
ea, et affidaverunt pro ea, Eobertus frater ejus comes de Gloecestra, et 
Brianus filius comitis marchio de "Waliugeford, et Milo de Gloecestria, postea 
comes de Hereford, et nonnulli alii " (see p. 58). At Oxford, we read in 
these charters, " Et hujus fiducije sunt obsides per fidem et Testes, Robertus 
comes Gloecestrie, et Milo comes Herefordie, et Brianus filius comitis et," etc. 
So close a parallel further confirms the genuineness of these charters. 

Another remarkable document illustrative of this negotiation is the 
alliance (" Confederatio amoris ") between the Earls of Hereford and 
Gloucester (see Appendix S). Each earl there " aflSdavit et j uravit " to the 
other, and each named certain of his followers as his " obsides per fidem " 
— the very phrase here used. See also p. 385, n. 3. 

2 That these securities were modelled on the practice of contracting 
sovereign powers is seen on comparing them with the treaty between Henry I. 
and the Count of Flanders (see Appendix S). But most to the point is the 
treaty between King Stephen and Duke Henry, where the clause for 
securing the *' conventiones " runs: — " Archiepiscopi vero et episcopi ab 
utraque parte in manu ceperunt quod si quis nostrum a predictis convention!- 


exact part which the King of France was to play in this 
transaction is not as clear as could be wished, but the 
expression ^'capere in manu" is of course equivalent to 
his becoming her **manucaptor," and *'tenere" is here 
used in the sense of '*to hold good."^ The closing words 
in which *^the Lady of England" declared that all the 
Church of Christ then beneath her sway shall undertake 
to be responsible for her keeping faith, present a striking 
picture : but yet more vivid, in its dramatic intensity, is 
that of the undaunted Empress, the would-be Queen of the 
English, standing in her water-girdled citadel, surrounded 
by her faithful followers, and playing^ as it were, her last 
card, as she placed her hand, in token of her faith, in the 
grip of the Iron Earl.^ 

It was only, indeed, the collapse, to all appearance, of 
her fortunes, that could have tempted Geoffrey to demand, 
or have induced the Empress to concede, terms so pre- 
posterously high. The fact that she was hoping, at this 
moment, to allure her husband to her side, that he might 
join her in a crowning effort, explains her eagerness to 
secure allies, at the cost of whatever sacrifice, and also, in 
consequence, the anxiety of those allies to bind her to her 
promises hard and fast. It further throws light on the 
constant reference throughout this charter to Geoffrey of 
Anjou and his son. 

Turning to the names of her proposed sureties, we find 

bus recederet, tarn diu eum ecclesias£ica jiisticia coercebunt, quousque errata 
corrigat et ad predictam pactionem observandam redeat. Mater etiam 
Duels et ejus uxor et fratres ipsius Ducis et omnes sui quos ad hoc applicare 
poterit, lisec assecurabunt." 

^ We may perhaps compare the oath taken by the French king some 
years before, to secure the charter ("Keure") granted to St. Omer by 
William, Count of Flanders (April 14, 1127) : — "Hanc igitur Communionem 
tenendam, has supradictas consuetudines et conventiones esse observandas 
fide promiserunt et Sacramento confirmaverunt Ludovicus rex Francorum, 
Guillelmus Comes Flandriae," etc., etc. 

' See Appendix T, on " Affidatio in manu." 



among them five earls, of whom the Earls of Norfolk and 
of Pembroke invite special notice. The former had played 
a shifty part from the very beginning of the reign. He 
appears to have really fought for his own hand alone, and 
we find him, the j^ear after this, joining the Earl of Essex 
in his wild outbm-st of revolt. With Pembroke the case 
was different. He had been among the nobles who, the 
Christmas before, had assembled at Stephen's court, and 
had attested the charter there granted to the Earl of 
Essex. He may, in the interval, have quarrelled with 
Stephen and joined the party of the Empress ; but I think 
the occm-rence of his name may be referred, with more 
probability, to another cause, that of his family ties. It is, 
indeed, to family ties that we must now turn our attention. 

The Earl of Essex had included, as we have seen, in 
his demands on this occasion, provisions in favour of 
certain of his relatives, including apparently his sisters' 
husbands. But these by no means exhausted the con- 
cessions he had resolved to exact. He had come prepared 
to offer the Empress the support, not only of himself, but 
of a powerful kinsman and ally. This was his wife's 
brother, Aubrey de Yere. 

It will be better to relegate to an appendix the relation- 
ship of these two families, without a clear understanding 
of which it is impossible to grasp Geoffrey's scheme, or to 
interpret aright these charters in their relation to one 
another, and in their bearing as parts of a connected whole. 
Unfortunately, the errors of past genealogists have rendered 
it a task of some difficulty to ascertain the correct pedigree.-^ 

When the fact has been established on a sure footing 
that Aubrey stood in the relation of wife's brother to 
Geoffrey, we may turn to the charter upon which my 
narrative is here founded. 

' See Appendix U : " The Families of Mandeville and De Yere." 


This is a charter of the Empress to Aubrey at 
Oxford. Mr. Eyton had, of course, devoted his attention 
to this, as to the other charters, in his special studies on 
the subject, but his fatal mistake in assigning both this 
and the above charter to Geoffrey to the year 1141 
deprives his conclusions of all value. We may note, how- 
ever, that he argued from the mention, in the charter 
granted to Geoffrey, of '*Earl Aubrey," that it must, in 
any case, be subsequent to the charter by which Aubrey 
was created an earl. He, therefore, dated the latter as 
" circ. July, 1141," and the former " circ. August, 1141 " 
(or *' between July 25 and Aug. 15, 1141 ").^ This reason- 
ing could at once be disposed of by pointing out that the 
Empress accepted her new ally and supporter as "Earl 
Aubrey" already. Of this, however, more below. But 
the true answer is to be found in the fact, which Mr. 
Eyton failed to perceive, that these two charters were not 
only granted simultaneously, but formed the two com- 
plements of one connected whole. In the light of this 
discovery the whole episode is clear. 

It is now time to give the charter with the grounds for 
believing in its existence and authenticity. We have two 
independent transcripts to work from. One of them was 
taken from the Vere register by Vincent in 1622, and 
printed by him in his curious Discoverie of Brook's Errors. 
The other was taken, apparently, in 1621, and was used 
by Dugdale for his Baronage. Vincent's original tran- 
script is preserved at the College of Arms, and this I have 
used for the text. But we have, fortunately, strong external 
testimony to the existence of the actual document. There 
is printed in Eymer's Foedera (xiii. 251) a confirmation by 
Henry VIII. (May 6, 1509) of this very charter, in which 
he is careful to state that it was duly exhibited before 

> Add. MSS., 31,943, fols. 86 6, 99, 116 b. 


him.^ Thus, from an unexpected source we obtain the 
evidence we want. It must further be remembered that 
our knowledge of these twin charters comes from two 
different and unconnected quarters, one being recorded in 
the duchy coucher (see p. 165), while the other was found 
among the muniments of the heir of the original grantee 
(see p. 183). If, then, these two independent documents 
confirm and explain one another, there is every reason to 
believe that their contents are wholly authentic. 

Charter of the Empress to Aubrey de Vere (1142). 

M. Imp'atrix H. Eegis filia et Anglorum Domina 
Archiepiscopis Episcopis Abbatibus Comitibus Baronibus 
Justiciariis Vicecomitibus ministris et omnibus fidelibus 
suis Francis et Anglis totius Angliae salutem. Sciatis me 
reddidisse et concessisse Comiti Alberico omnes terras et 
tenementa sua, sicut pater eius Albericus de Veer tenuit, die 
qua fuit vivus et mortuus, videlicet, in terris, in feodis, in 
firmis, in ministeriis, in vadiis, in empcionibus, et haeredi- 
tatibus. Et nominatim Camerariam Angliae sicut Albericus 
de Veer pater eius vel Eobertus Malet vel aliquis Ante- 
cessorum suorum eam melius vel liberius tenuit cum 
omnibus consuetudinibus et libertatibus quae ad ea perti- 
nent sicut alia Carta mea quam inde habuit testatur. Et 
do et concedo ei totam terram Willelmi de Albrincis sine 
placito pro seruicio suo, simul cum haereditate et iure quod 
clamat ex parte uxoris sue sicut umquam Willelmus de 
Archis^ ea melius tenuit* Et turrim et Castellum de 
Colecestr' sine placito finaliter et sine escampa^ quam 
citius ei deliberare potero. Et omnes tenuras suas de 

* It is headed *' Pro Comite Oxonise Carta Matildse Imperatricis confir- 
mata," and it confirms the grants made by her " prout per cartam illam {i.e. 
Matildge) plenius liquet." 
2 See Appendix Y, on " William of Arques." ' i.e. escambio. 


quocunque eas teneat in omnibus rebus sicut Carta sua 
alia quam inde habuit testatur. Et preter hoc do ei et con- 
cedo quod sit Comes de Cantebruggescr' et habeat inde 
tertium denarium sicut Comes debet habere, ita dico si Kex 
Scotiae non habet ilhim Comitatum. Et si Rex habuerit 
perquiram ilium ei ad posse meum per escambium. Et si 
non potero tunc do ei et concedo quod sit Comes de quoli- 
bet quatuor Comitatuum subscriptorum, videlicet Oxene- 
fordscira, Berkscira, Wiltescira, et Dorsetscira per con- 
silium et consideracionem Comitis Gloecestrie fratris mei 
et Comitis Gaufridi et Comitis Gisleberti et teneat Comi- 
tatum suum cum omnibus illis rebus que ad comitatum 
suum pertineat ita bene et in pace et libera et quiete et 
honorifice et plenarie sicut unquam aliquis Comes melius 
vel liberius tenuit vel tenet comitatum suum. Concedo 
etiam ei in feodo et haereditate seruicium Willelmi de 
Helion,^ yidelicet decern militum ut ipse Willelmus teneat 
de Comite Alberico et ipse Comes faciat inde michi serui- 
cium et michi et hseredibus meis. Concedo etiam ei et 
haeredibus suis de cremento Diham^ que fuit Bogeri de 
Ramis ^ rectum nepotum ipsius comitis Alberici, videlicet 
filiorum Rogeri de Ramis.* Et similiter concedo ei et 
heredibus suis Turroc^ que fuit Willelmi Peuerelli de 
Nottingh', et terram Salamonis Presbiteri ^ de Tilleberia."^ 

* Of Helions in Bumsted Helion, Essex, the other portion of the parish, 
viz. Bumsted Hall, being, at and from the Survey, a portion of the De Vere 
fief. These his ten fees duly figure in the Liher Niger, 

2 Dedham, Essex, 

3 They were named, I presume, from the castle of Rames, adjoining the 
forest of Lillebonne. 

* This would seem to imply that Roger de Ramis had married a sister of 
Aubrey de Vere. See Appendix X : " Roger de Ramis." 

* Grey's Thurrock, in South Essex, being that portion of it which had 
been held by William Peverel at the Survey. 

^ Query, the " Salamon clericus de Sudwic " (Northants) of the Pipe- 
Roll of 31 Hen. I. (p. 85)? 

^ This was not Tilbury on the Tliames, but Tilbury (Essex) near Clare, 


Concedo etiam eidem Alberico Comiti quod ipse et omnes 
homines sui habeant et lucrentur omnia essarta sua libera 
et quieta de omnibus placitis que fecerant usque ad diem 
qua seruicio domini mei Comitis Andegavie et meo adhaese- 
runt.^ Hec omnia supradicta tenementa concedo ei 
tenenda bsereditarie in omnibus rebus sibi et haeredibus 
suis de me et de haeredibus meis. Quare volo et firmiter 
praecipio quod ipse Albericus Comes et heredes sui teneant 
omnia tenementa sua ita bene et in pace et libere et quiete 
et honorifice et plenarie sicut unquam aliquis Comitum 
meorum melius vel liberius tenuit vel tenet et preter hoc 
do et concedo Galfi'ido de Yer totam terram que fuit Gal- 
fridi Talebot ^ in dominiis in militibus si eam ei Waran- 
tizare potero. Et si non potero, escambium ei inde dabo 
ad valentiam per consideracionem Comitis Galfridi Essex 
et Comitis Gisleberti et Comitis Alberici fratris sui. Et 
preter hoc concedo Eoberto de Ver unam baroniam ad 
valentiam honoris Galfridi de Ver infra annum quo potes- 
tatiua fuero regni Angliae. Yel aliam terram ad valentiam 
illius terrae. Et preter hoc do et concedo eidem Comiti 
Alberico Cancellariam ad opus Willelmi de Ver fratris sui 
ex quo deliberata fuerit de Willelmo Cancellario fratre 
Johannis filii Gisleberti qui eam modo habet. Hanc 
autem convencionem et donacionem tenendam affidaui 
manu mea propria in manu Galfridi Comitis Essex. 
Et hujus fiduciae sunt obsides per fidem et Testes : 
Eobertus Comes Gloec', et Milo Comes Heref, et Brianus 

as is proved by Liber Niger (p. 393), where tliis land of Salamon proves to 
be part of the honour of Boulogne, held as a fifth of a knight's fee, 

' See Appendix K : " The Forest of Essex." 

^ Geoffrey Talbot appears in the Pipe-Roll of 31 Henry I. as paying 
two hundred marks of silver for his father's land in Kent (p. 67). As 
" Agnes Vxor Gaufredi Talebot " is charged, at the same time, " pro dote et 
maritagio suo " (ibid.), it would seem that our Geoffrey had a father of the 
same name. "We learn from the Liber Xigpr (i. 58) that at the death of 
Henry I. (1135) he held twenty knights' fees in Kent. 


filius Comitis, et Eobertas filius Eegis^ et Eobertus de 
Curci Dap', et Johannes filius Gisleb', et Milo de Belloc' , 
et Kadulfus Paganel, et Eobertus filius Heldebrandi et 
Eobertus de Oileio Conestabularius. Et Convencionaui 
eidem Comiti Alberieo quod pro posse meo Comes Ande- 
gavie dominus meus assecurabit ei manu sua propria illud 
idem tenendum et Henricus filius meus similiter. Et 
quod Eex ffrancie erit mitii obses si facere potero Et si 
non potero, faciam quod rex capiet in manu illud idem 
tenendum. Et de hoc debent esse obsides per fidem Jubel 
de Meduana et Eob[ertus] de Sabloill et Wido de Sabloill 
et Paganus de Clarievall' et Gaufridus de Clarievall et 
Andreas de Alvia et Pepinus de Turcin, et Absalon de 
Euinard^ et Eeginaldus Comes Cornubiae et Baldwinus 
Comes Deuoniae et Comes Gislebertus de Pembroc et Comes 
Hugo de Norfolc et Comes de Essex Gaufridus et Patricius ^ 
{sic) de Valoniis, et alii barones mei quos habere voluerit 
et ego habere potero erunt inde obsides similiter et quod 
Christianitas Angliae quae in potestate mea est capiat in 
manu supradictam convencionem tenendam eidem Comiti 
Alberieo et haeredibus suis de me et haeredibus meis Apud 

The first point to which I would call attention is the 
identity of expression in the two charters, proving, as I 
urged above, their close and essential connection. It may 
be as well to place the passages to which I refer side by side . 

Charter to Geoffrey. Charter to Aubrez. 

Hanc autem conventionem et Hanc autem conventionem et 

donationem tenendam affidavi donationem tenendam affiJavi 

manu mea propria in manu manu mea propria in manu 

* "Kogeri"inMS. *Or"Kumard." ^ TtecUmVQixlxx^^ 

* "Ex libro quodam pervetusto in pergamena maimscripto in custodia 
Henrici Vere nunc Comitis Oxoniae, et mihi per Capitan : Skipwith, mutuato 
21 April, 1622." 


ipsiusComitisGaufredi. Ethiijus Galfredi Comitis Essex. Et hujus 

fiducise sunt obsides per fidem fiduciae sunt obsides per fidem et 

et Testes, Robertus etc. Testes, Robertus, etc. 

Et conventionavi eidem Comiti Et conventiouavi eidem Co- 

Gaufrido pro posse mea quod miti Alberico quod pro posse meo 

Comes Andegavie dominus mens Comes Andegavie dominus meus 

assecurabit ei manu sua propria assecurabit ei manu sua propria 

illud idem tenendum et Henricus illud idem tenendum et Henricus 

filius meus similiter, etc., etc. filius meus similiter, etc., etc. 

Putting together these passages with the fact that the 
witnesses also are the same in both charters, we see 
plainly that these two documents, while differing from all 
others of the kind, correspond precisely with each other. 
Above all, we note that it was to Geoffrey, not to Aubrey, 
that the Empress pledged her faith for the fulfilment of 
Aubrey's charter. This shows, as I observed, that Aubrey 
obtained this charter as Geoffrey's relative and ally, just 
as Geoffrey's less important kinsmen were provided for 
in his own charter. 

Here we may pause for a moment, before examining 
this record in detail, to glance at another which forms its 
corollary and complement. 

It will have been noticed that in both these charters 
the Empress undertook to obtain their confirmation by her 
husband and her son. We know not whether the charter 
to Geoffrey was so confirmed, but presumably it was. 
For, happily, in the case of its sister-charter, the con- 
firmation by the youthful Henry was preserved. And 
there is every reason to believe that when this was con- 
firmed the other would be confirmed also. 

The confirmation by the futm^e King Henry II. of his 
mother's charter to Aubrey de Yere may be assigned 
to July — November, 1142. His uncle Robert crossed to 
Normandy shortly after witnessing the original charter, 
and returned to England, accompanied by his nephew, 


about the end of December.^ We may assume that no 
time was lost in obtaining the confirmation by the youthful 
heir, and though the names of the witnesses and the place 
of testing are, unluckily, omitted in the transcript, the 
fact that a Hugh ''de Juga " acted as Geoffrey's proxy 
for the occasion supports the hypothesis that the confir- 
mation took place over sea. That we have a confirma- 
tion by Henry, but not by his father, is doubtless due to 
Geoffrey of Anjou refusing, on this occasion, to come to 
his wife's assistance, and virtually, by sending his son in 
his stead, abdicating in his favour whatever pretensions 
he had to the English throne. 

As Henry's charter is printed at the foot of his 
mother's by Vincent, I shall content myself with quoting 
its distinctive features, for the subject matter is the same 
except for some verbal differences.^ There is some con- 
fusion as to the authority for its text. Vincent tran- 
scribed it, like that of the Empress, from the Hedingham 
Castle Eegister. Dugdale, in his Baronage, mixes it up 
with the charter granted by Henry when king, so that 
his marginal reference would seem to apply to the latter. 
In his MSS., however, he gives as his authority " Auto- 
graphum in custodia Johis. Tindall unius magror. 
Curie cancellarie temp. Reg. Eliz." If the original 
charter itself was in existence so late as this there is 
just a hope that it may yet be found in some unexplored 
collection. From time to time such *' finds" are made,^ 
and few discoveries would be more welcome than that of 

^ See Appendix Y. 

^ As "turrim de Colcestr' et castellum" for "turrim et castellum de 
Colcestr'." The only difference of any importance is that Dugdale reads 
" Albenejo " in this charter, where he has " Albrincis " in that of the Empress. 

^ I may perhaps be permitted to refer to my own discovery, in a stable 
loft, of a document bearing the seal of the King-maker, and bearing his rare 
autograph, which antiquaries had lost sight of since the days of Camden. 


the earliest charter of one of the greatest sovereigns who 
have ever ruled these realms, the first Plantagenet king.^ 

Charter of Henry of Anjou to Aubrey de Yere. 

July — November, 1142. 

*' Henricus filius filise Regis Henrici, rectus heres Angl. 
et Normann. etc. Sciatis quod sicut Domina mea, viz. 
mater mea imperatrix reddidit et concessit, ita reddo et 
concedo. . . . Hanc autem convencionem tenendam affi- 
davi manu mea propria in manu Hugonis de Juga,^ sicut 
mater mea Imperatrix affidavit in manu Comitis Gaufr. 
Testibus," etc. 

Henry *'fitz Empress " was at this time only nine and 
a half years old. The claim he is here made to advance 
as *' rightful heir" of England and Normandy sounds the 
key-note of the coming struggle. Not only till he had 
obtained the crown, but also after he had obtained it, 
he steadily dwelt on his *^ right" to the throne, of which 
Stephen had wrongfully deprived him. 

We should also note that he claims to be ''heir" of 
England and Normandy, but not of Anjou. I take this 
to imply that he posed as no mere heir-expectant, but 
as one who ought, by right, to be in actual possession of 
his realm. He could not, in the lifetime of his father, 
assume this attitude to Anjou. Hence its omission. As 
for his mother, he seems, from the first, to have claimed 
her inheritance, as he eventually obtained it, not for her, 
but for himself. 

* Mr. Eyton must have strangely overlooked this charter, for he begins 
his series of Henry's charters in 1149. 

* " Inga " in Dugdale's transcript, and rightly so, for we find this same 
Hugh, as " Hugo de Ging'," a witness to a charter on behalf of Earl Aubrey, 
about this time (infra^ p. 190). There were several places in Essex named 
'♦ Ging " alias " Ing." 


Let us now return to the charter of the Empress. 

It will be best to discuss its successive clauses seriatim. 
The opening portion, from *' Sciatis me reddidisse " to 
** sicut alia Carta mea quam inde habuit testatur," is 
merely a confirmation of her previous charter, granted, 
as we learn from this, for the purpose of securing him 
in the possession of his father's fief and office of royal 
chamberlain. His father, who is said to have been slain 
in May, 1141, had been granted the chamberlainship by 
Henry I. in 1133, the charter being printed by Madox from 
Dugdale's transcript. This confirmation repeats its terms. 

The next portion extends from the words *'Et do et 
concedo " to " sicut Carta sua alia quam inde habet 
testatur." About this there is some obscurity. The 
word is **do," not " reddo,'' and the expression "Carta 
sua " replaces " Carta mea." The clause clearly refers 
to grants made to Aubrey himself since his father's death, 
but whether by the king or by the Empress is not so 
clear as could be wished. The point need not be discussed 
at length, but the former seems the more probable. 

Fortunately, there is no such doubt about the clauses 
of creation. Here the question of the formula becomes 
all-important. The case stands thus. There are only 
two instances in the course of this reign in which we can 
be quite certain that we are dealing with creations de novo. 
The one is that by which the king "made " Geoffrey Earl 
of Essex ; the other, that by which the Empress " made " 
Miles Earl of Hereford. We know that neither grantee 
had been created an earl before ; and we find that the 
sovereign, in each instance, speaks of having " made " 
("fecisse") him an earl.^ So, again, in the only instance 
of a "counter-patent" of creation, of which we can be quite 

^ Compare the famous Lewes charter of William de Warenne, Earl of 
Surrey, said (if genuine) to be the earliest allusion to a peerage creation. 
There the earl speaks of William Rufus, " qui me Surrese comitem fecit." 


certain, namely, that by Tvhich the Empress recognized 
Geoffrey as Earl of Essex after he had received that title 
from Stephen, the formula used is : *' Do et concedo ut sit 
Comes." The two are essentially distinct. Now, applying 
this principle to the present charter, we find the latter of 
the two formulce employed on this occasion. The words 
are : *' Do ei et concedo ut sit Comes." We infer, there- 
fore, if my view be right, that Aubrey was already in 
enjoyment of comital rank when he received this charter. 
It might be, and indeed has been, supposed that he was 
so by virtue of a creation by Stephen. I have noted an 
instance in which he attests a charter of Stephen (at the 
siege of Wallingford) as a •' comes," ^ and it is not likely 
that Stephen would allow him this title in virtue of a 
creation by the Empress. On the other hand, in this 
charter the Empress treats him as already a comes y which 
she does not do in the case of Geoffrey, who had been 
created a comes by Stephen.^ The difference between the 
two cases is accounted for by the fact that Aubrey was comes 
not by a creation of Stephen, but in right of his wi^e 
Beatrice, heiress of the Comte of Guisnes. This has been 
clearly explained by Mr. Stapleton in his paper on " The 
Barony of William of Arques,"^ although he is mistaken 
in his dates. He wrongly thought, like others, that 
Aubrey's father, the chamberlain, was killed in May, 1140, 
instead of May, 1141, and, like Mr. Eyton, he wrongly 
assigned this charter of the empress to 1141, instead of 
1142.^ His able identification of ''Albericus Aper'' with 

' Ahiiujdon Cartulary^ ii. 179. 

2 It should, however, be observed that in this same charter she refers to 
Earl Gilbert (of Pembroke) and Earl Hugh (of Norfolk) by their comital 
style, though, so far as we know, they were earls of Stephen's creation alone. 
But such a reference as this is very different from the style formally given 
in a charter of creation. 

' Archseologia, vol. xxxi. 

* "Its date is subsequent to the 25th of July, 1141, when the Empress 


Aubrey de Vere may be supplemented by a reference to 
the fact that *' the blue hoar " was the badge of the family 
through a pun on the Latin verves. 

Aubrey was already the husband of Beatrice, the heiress 
of Guisnes, at the death of her grandfather Count Manasses 
(?1139). He thereupon went to Flanders and became 
(says Lambart d'Ardes) Count of Guisnes. Eeturning to 
England, he sought and obtained from Stephen his wife's 
English inheritance and executed, as Mr. Stapleton 
observes, in his father's lifetime (i.e. before May, 1141), 
the charter printed in Morant's Essex (ii. 506). Aubrey 
was divorced from Beatrice a few years later, when she 
married (between 1144 and 1146, thinks Mr. Stapleton) 
Baldwin d'Ardres, the claimant of Guisnes. Thus did 
Aubrey come to be for a time ** Count of Guisnes," as 
recorded, according to Weever, on his tomb at Colne 

Mr. Stapleton was unable to produce any English 
record or chronicle in which Aubrey is given the style of 
*' Count of Guisnes." It is, therefore, with much satisfac- 
tion that I print, from the original charter, the following 
record, conclusively establishing that he actually had that 

style : — 

CoTT. Chart, xxi. 6. 

" Ordingus dei gratia Abbas ecclesie sancti eadmundi 
Omnibus hominibus suis et amicis et fidelibus francis et 
anglis salutem. Sciatis me concessisse Alberico comiti 
Gisnensi per concessum totius conventus totum feudum et 
servitium Eogeri de Ver auunculi sui sicut tenet de honore 
sancti eadmundi uidelicet per seruitium unius militis et 
dimidii et totum feudum et seruitium Alani filii Frodonis 

created Milo de Gloucester Earl of Hereford at Oxford, who has this title 
in the charter, and, from its having been given at Oxford, there can be little 
doubt that it was contemporaneous with that creation, and certainly prior to 
the siege of Winchester in the month of August following " {ibid., pp. 231, 232). 


sicut tenet de honore sancti eadmundi uidelicet per serui- 
tium iii militum, et insuper singulis annis centum solidos 
ad pascha de camera mea. Hec omnia illi concede in 
feudo et hereditate, ipsi et heredibus suis de ecclesia sancti 
eadmundi et de meis successoribus. Quare uolo et firmiter 
precipio quod idem Albericus comes Gisnensis et heredes 
sui jure hereditario teneant de ecclesia sancti eadmundi 
bene et honorifice bee supradicta omnia per seruitium 
quod supradiximus. Huius donationis sunt testes ex parte 
mea Willelmus prior Eadulfus sacrista Gotscelinus et 
Eudo monachi Mauricius dapifer Gilebertus blundus Adam 
de cocef Eadulfus de lodn' Willelmus filius Ailb'. Helias 
de melef Gauffridus frater eius. Ex parte comitis, Gau- 
ffridus de ver Robertus filius bumfridi Robertus filius Ailr' 
Garinus filius Geroldi Hugo de ging' Albericus de capella 
Eadulfus filius Adam Guarinus frater eius Eadulfus de 
gisnes Gauffridus filius Humfridi Gauffridus Arsic Eod- 
bertus de cocef Eadulfus carboneal et Hugo filius eius et 
plures alii." ^ 

But, to return to Maud's charter, the point which I 
am anxious to emphasize is that of the formula she 
employs, namely, *'do et concedo," as against the *'sciatis 
me fecisse " of an original creation. I trace this distinc- 
tion in later years, when her son, who had already, as we 
have seen, confirmed this charter to Aubrey, again con- 
firmed it when king (1156), employing for that purpose 
the same formula : '' Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse 
comiti Alberico." Conversely, in the case of Hugh Bigod, 

' Of these witnesses "ex parte comitis," Geoffrey de Yer held half a 
knight's fee of him, Kobert fitz Humfrey held one, Robert fitz " Ailric " one, 
Balph fitz Adam a quarter, Ralph de Guisnes one, Geoffrey Arsic two, 
Robert de Cocefeld three, Ralph Carbonel one and a half. Hugh de Ging' 
was the "Hugo de Inga" who acted as proxy {yiide supra) at Henry's con- 
firmation of his mother's charter. This charter has an independent value 
for its bearing on knights' fees. See also Addenda. 


he employs the formula : '' Sciatis me fecisse Hugonem 
Bigot comitem de Norfolca " (1155), this being an earldom 
of Stephen's creation, and, so far as we know, of his alone. 
This is a view which should be accepted with caution, but 
which has, if correct, an important bearing. 

The very remarkable shifting clause as to the county 
of which the grantee should be earl requires separate 
notice. The axiom from which I start is this : When a 
feudatory was created an earl, he took if he could for 
his " comitatus " the county in which was situated the 
chief seat of his power, his " Caput Baronias." If this 
county had an earl already he then took the nearest 
county that remained available. Thus Norfolk fell to 
Bigod, Essex to Mandeville, Sussex to Albini, Derby to 
Ferrers, and so on. De Clare, the seat of whose power 
was in Suffolk, though closely adjoining Essex, took Herts, 
probably for the reason that Mandeville had already 
obtained Essex, while Bigod's province, being in truth the 
old earldom of the East Angles — '^ Comes de Estangle," as 
Henry of Huntingdon terms him, — took in Suffolk. So 
now, Aubrey de Vere probably selected Cambridgeshire as 
the nearest available county to his stronghold at Castle 

But the Empress, we see, promised it only on the 
strange condition that her uncle was not already in 
possession. I say *' the strange condition," for one would 
surely have thought that she knew whether he was or 
not. Moreover, the dignity was then held not by her 
uncle, but by his son, and is described as the earldom of 
Huntingdon, never as the earldom of Cambridge. The 
first of these difficulties is explained by the fact that the 

* At the same time, we must remember that he held a considerable fief 
in Cambridgeshire (see Domesday), which, if he could not have Essex, might 
lead him to select that county. 


King of Scots had, early in the reign, made over the 
earldom to his son Henry, to avoid becoming himself the 
** man " of the King of England. The second requires 
special notice. 

We are taken back, by this provision, to the days 
before the Conquest. Mr. Freeman, in his erudite essay 
on The Great Earldoms under Eadward, has traced the 
shifting relations of the counties of Northamptonshire, 
Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, and Northumberland. 
The point, however, which concerns us here is that, 
*' under William," Earl Waltheof, "besides his great 
Northumbrian government, was certainly Earl of North- 
amptonshire {Ord. Vit., 522 C), and of Huntingdon- 
shire (Will Gem, viii. 37)."^ His daughter Matilda 
married twice, and between the heirs of these two mar- 
riages the contest for her father's inheritance was obsti- 
nate and long. Restricting ourselves to his southern 
province, with which alone we have here to deal, its 
western half, the county of Northampton, had at this 
time passed to Simon of St. Liz as the heir of the first 
marriage, while Huntingdon had conferred an earldom on 
Henry, the heir of her marriage with the Scottish king. 
The house of St. Liz, however, claimed the whole in- 
heritance, and as the Earl of Huntingdon, of course, 
sided with his cousin, the Empress, Earl Simon of 
Northampton was the steadfast supporter, even in their 
darkest hours, of Stephen and his queen. Now, the 
question that arises is this : Was not Earl Henry's pro- 
vince Huntingdonshire ivith Cambridgeshire ? Mr. Free- 
man writes of Huntingdonshire, that ''in 1051 we find it, 
together with Cambridgeshire, a shire still so closely 
connected with it as to have a common sheriff, detached 
altogether from Mercia," etc.^ It is true that when the 

• Norm. Conq., ii. 559, ^ m^ 


former county became *^ an outlying portion of the 
earldom of Northumberland," it does not, he observes, 
" appear that Cambridgeshire followed it in this last 
migration ; " ^ but when we compare this earlier connec- 
tion with that in the Pipe-Eoll of 1130,^ and with the fact 
that under another David of Scotland, this earldom, some 
seventy years later, appears as that of Huntingdon and 
Cambridge,^ we shall find in this charter a connecting 
link, which favours the view that the two counties had, 
for comital purposes, formed one throughout. We have 
a notable parallel in the adjacent counties of Norfolk and 
Suffolk, which still formed one, the East Anglian earl- 
dom. Dorset and Somerset, too, which were under one 
sheriff, may have been also intended to form one 
earldom, for the Lord of Dunster is found both as Earl 
of "Dorset" and of "Somerset." I suspect also that 
the Ferrers earldom was, in truth, that of the joint 
shrievalty of Derbyshire and Notts, and that this is why 
the latter county was never made a separate earldom till 
the days of Eichard II. 

The doubt of the Empress must therefore be attributed 
to her anxiety not to invade the comital rights of her 
cousin, in case he should deem that her creation of an 
earldom of Cambridgeshire would constitute such in- 
vasion. It is evident, we shall find, that he did so. The 
accepted view is, it would appear, that Aubrey, by virtue 
of this charter, became Earl "of Cambridge."^ Mr. 
Doyle, indeed, in his great work, goes so far as to state 
that he was "cr. Earl of Cambridge by the Empress 

* Norm. Conq.f ii. 55^. 

^ Where they form one shrievalty with one firma, though the county of 
Surrey as well is inexplicably combined with them. 

3 And the "tertius denarius" of Cambridgeshire was actually held by its 
earl (1205). 

* Stubbs, Const. Hist., i. 362, note. 



Maud (after March 2) 1141 ; . . . cr. Earl of Oxford (in 
exchange) 1155."^ But in Cole's (unpublished) transcript 
of the Colne Cartulary (fols. 34, 37), we have a charter 
of this Aubrey, ''Pro anima patris mei Alberici de Vere," 
which must have passed between 1141 and 1147, for it is 
attested by Eobert, Bishop of London, appointed 1141, 
and Hugh, Abbot of Colchester, who died in 1147. In 
this charter his style is '* Albericus Comes Oxeneford." 
Here, then, we have evidence that, in this reign, he was 
already Earl *' of Oxford," not Earl of Cambridge. 

Before quitting the subject of Aubrey's creation, we 
may note the bearing of the shifting clause on the creation 
of the earldom of Wiltshire. It implies that Patrick of 
Salisbury had not yet received his earldom. This con- 
clusion is confirmed by a charter of the Empress tested 
at Devizes, which he witnesses merely as " Patricio de 
Sarum conestabulo." ^ The choice of Dorset is somewhat 
singular, as it suggests an intrusion on the Mohun earl- 
dom. But this rather shadowy dignity appears, during its 
brief existence, as an earldom of Somerset rather than of 

The specific grant of the *' tertius denarius," as in the 
creation charters of the earldoms of Essex and of Here- 
ford, should also be noticed. 

The ''Earl Gilbert" who is repeatedly mentioned in 
the course of this charter is Earl Gilbert "of Pembroke," 
maternal uncle to Aubrey. It is this relationship that, 
perhaps, accounts for the part he here plays. 

Of the remaining features of interest in the record, 
attention may be directed to the phrase concerning the 
knights' fees of William de Helion : " Ut ipse Willelmus 

* Official Baronage, i. 291. 

' Mon. Ang., v. 440 ; Journ. B. A. A., xxxi. 392. This conclusion reveals 
a further error in the Histoire de Guillaume le Mar^chal, which gives a very 
incomprehensible account of this Patrick's action. 


teneat de Comite Alberico, et ipse Comes faciat inde michi 
servitium ; " also to the implied forfeiture of William 
Peverel of Nottingham, he having been made prisoner at 
Lincoln, fighting on Stephen's side. Lastly, the promise 
to the earl of the chancellorship for his brother William 
becomes full of interest when we know that this was the 
Canon of St. Osyth,^ and that he was to be thus rewarded 
as being the clerical member of his house. It enables 
us further to identify in William, the existing chancellor, 
the brother of John (fitz Gilbert) the marshal. 

We have now examined these two charters, parts, I 
would again insist, of one connected negotiation. What 
was its object ? Nothing less, in my opinion, than a 
combined revolt in the Eastern Counties which should 
take Stephen in the rear, as soon as the arrival from 
Normandy of Geoffrey of Anjou and his son should give 
the signal for a renewal of the struggle, and a fresh ad- 
vance upon London by the forces of the west country. 
Earl Geoffrey himself was now at the height of his power. 
If he were supported by Aubrey de Vere, and by Henry of 
Essex with Peter de Valoines (who are specially named in 
Geoffrey's charter), he would be virtually master of Essex. 
And if the restless Earl of the East Angles (p. 178 supra) 
would also join him, as eventually he did, while Bishop 
Nigel held Ely, Stephen would indeed be placed between 
two fires. I cannot but think that it is to the rumour 
of some such scheme as this that Stephen's panegyrist 
refers, when he tells us, the following year, that Geoffrey 
**had arranged to betray the realm into the hands of the 
Countess of Anjou, and that his intention to do so had 
been matter of common knowledge." ^ 

I would urge that in the charters I have given above 

* See Appendix U. 

' " Regnum, ut in ore jam vulgi celebre fuerat, comitissse Andegavensi 


we find the key to this allusion, and that they, in their 
turn, are explained, and at the same time confirmed, by 
the existence of this concerted plot. We have now to trace 
the failure of the scheme, and to learn how it was that 
all came to nought. 

Stephen's illness, to which, it may be remembered, I 
had attributed in part the inception of the scheme, only 
lasted till the middle of June. By the time that Eobert 
of Gloucester had set forth to cross the Channel, Stephen 
was restored to health, and ready and eager for action.^ 
Swift to seize on such an opportunity as he had never 
before obtained, he burst into the heart of the enemy's 
country and marched straight on Wareham. He found 
its defenders off their guard ; the town was sacked and 
burnt, and the castle was quickly his.^ The precautions 
of the Earl of Gloucester had thus been taken in vain, 
and the port he had secured for his return was now 
garrisoned by the king. 

The effect of this brilliant stroke was to paralyze the 
party of the Empress. Her brother, who had left her with 
great reluctance, dreading the fickleness of the nobles, had 
made her assembled supporters swear that they would 
defend her in his absence, and had further taken with him 
hostages for their faithful behaviour.^ He had also so 
strengthened her defences at Oxford that the city seemed 

conferre disposuetat " (6^esia Stephani, p. 101). This very remarkable in- 
cidental allusion should be compared with that in which Henry of Hunting- 
don justifies the earl's arrest by Stephen : " Nisi enim hoc egisset, perfidio 
consulis illius regno privatus fuisset " (p. 276). 

^ " Duravit improspera valetudo usque post Pentecostem (June 7) ■ turn 
enim sensim refusus salutis vigor eum in pedes erexit " ( Will. Malms., p. 

2 " Eex . . . comitis absentiam aucupatus, subito ad Waram veuiens, et 
non bene munitum propugnatoribus offendens, succensa et depredata villa, 
statim etiam castello potitus est " (ihid., p. 766). 

' " Obsides poposcit sigillatim ab his qui optimates videbantur, secum in 
Normannia ducendos, vadesque futures tarn comiti Andegavensi quam impera- 


almost impregnable.^ Lastly, a series of outlying posts 
secured the communications of its defenders with the 
districts friendly to their cause.^ 

But Stephen, in the words of his panegyrist, had 
** awaked as one out of sleep." Summoning to his 
standard his friends and supporters, he marched on 
Gloucestershire itself, and appeared unexpectedly at 
Cirencester on the line of the enemy's communications. 
Its castle, taken by surprise, was burnt and razed to the 
ground. Then, completing the isolation of the Empress, by 
storming, as he advanced, other of her posts,^ he arrived 
before the walls of Oxford on the 26th of September.^ The 
forces of the Empress at once deployed on the left bank of 
the river. The action which followed was a curious 
anticipation of the struggle at Boyne Water (1690). The 
king, informed of the existence of a ford, boldly plunged 
into the water, and, half fording, half swimming, was one 
of the first to reach the shore. Instantly charging the 
enemy's line, he forced the portion opposed to him back 
towards the walls of the city, and when the bulk of his 
forces had followed him across, the whole line was put to 
flight, his victorious troops entering the gates pell-mell 
with the routed fugitives. The torch was as familiar as 
the sword to the soldier of the Norman age, and Oxford 
was quickly buried in a sheet of smoke and fire.^ The 
castle, then of great strength, alone held out. From the 

trici quod omnes, junctis umbonibus ab ea, dunj ipse abesset, injurias pro- 
pulsarent, viribus suis apud Oxeneford manentes" {Will. Malms., p. 764). 
The phrase "junctis umbonibus" revives memories of the shield- wall. See 
also Appendix S. 

* " Civitatem . . . ita comes Gloecestrie fossatis munierat, ut inexpugna- 
bilis prseter per incendium videretur " (ibid., p. 766). 

2 Gesta, pp. 87, 88. » Gesfa, p. 88. 

* " Tribus diebus ante festum Sancti Michaelis " ( Will. Malms., p. 766). 

* See the brilliant description of this action in the Gesta Stephani, 
pp. 88, 89. 


summit of its mound the Empress must have witnessed the 
rout of her followers; within its walls she was now 
destined to stand a weary siege. 

It is probable that Stephen's success at Oxford was 
in part owing to the desertion of the Empress by those 
who had sworn to defend her. For we read that they 
were led by shame to talk of advancing to her relief.^ 
The project, however, came to nothing, and Earl Kobert, 
hearing of the critical state of affairs, became eager to 
return to the assistance of his sister and her beleaguered 

Geoffrey of Anjou had, on various pretences, detained 
the earl in Normandy, instead of accepting his invita- 
tion and returning with him to England. But Kobert's 
patience was now exhausted, and, bringing with him, 
instead of Geoffrey, the youthful Henry "fitz Empress," 
he sailed for England with a fleet of more than fifty ships. 
Such was the first visit to this land of the future Henry II., 
being then nine years and a half, not (as stated by Dr. 
Stubbs) eight years old.^ 

The earl made it a point of honour to recapture Ware- 
ham as his first step. He also hoped to create a diversion 
which might draw off the king from Oxford.^ This was 
not bad strategy, for Stephen was deemed to be stronger 
behind the walls of Oxford than he would be in the open 
country. The position of affairs resembled, in fact, that 
at Winchester, the year before. But the two sides had 
changed places. As the Empress, in Winchester, had 
besieged Wolvesey, so now, in Oxford, Stephen did the 

' " Mox igitur optimates quidem omnes imperatricis, confusi quia a 
domina sua praeter statutum abfueratit, confertis cuneis ad Walengeford con- 
venerunt," etc. ( Will. Malms., p. 766). 

2 Dr. Stubbs has erroneously placed his landing in 1141 instead of in the 
autumn of 1142. See Appendix Y, on " The First and Second Visits of Henry 
II. to England." 

3 Will. Malms., pp. 767, 768. 


same. It would, therefore, have been necessary to besiege 
him in turn as the Empress was besieged the year before. 
Well aware of the advantage he enjoyed, Stephen refused 
to be decoyed away, and allowed the castle of Wareham 
to fall into Kobert's hands. The other posts in the neigh- 
bourhood were also secured b}^ the earl, who then advanced 
to Cirencester, where he had summoned his friends to 
meet him. Thus strengthened, he was already marching 
to the relief of Oxford, when he received the news of his 
sister's perilous escape and flight. A close siege of three 
months had brought her to the extremity of want, and 
Stephen was pressing the attack with all the artillery of 
the time. A few days before Christmas, in a long and 
hard frost, when the snow w^as thick upon the ground, she 
was let down by ropes from the grim Norman tower, 
which commanded the approach to the castle on the side 
of the river. Clad in white from head to foot, and escorted 
by only three knights, she succeeded under cover of the 
darkness of night, and by the connivance of one of the 
besiegers' sentries, in passing through their lines un- 
detected and crossing the frozen river. After journeying 
on foot for six miles, she reached the spot where horses 
were in waiting, and rode for Wallingford Castle, her still 
unconquered stronghold.^ 

On receiving the news of this event Kobert changed 
his course, and proceeded to join his sister. In her joy 
at the return of her brother and the safe arrival of her 

* See, for the story of her romantic escape, the Gesta Stephani (pp. 89, 9U), 
William of Malmeshury (pp. 768, 769), John of Hexham (Sym. Dun., ii. 317), 
William of Newhurgh (i. 43), and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (p. 384). This 
last is of special value for its mention of her escape from the tower of the 
castle. It states that Stephen " besaet hire in the tur," and that she was ou 
the night of her escape let down by ropes from the tower (" me last hire dun 
on niht of the tur mid rapes"). It is difficult to see how this^'can mean any- 
thing else than that she was lowered to the ground from the existing tower, 
instead of leaving by a gate. 


son, the Empress forgot all her troubles. She was also 
in safety now, herself, behind the walls of Wallingford, 
the support of that town and its fidelity to her cause 
being gratefully acknowledged by her son on his eventual 
accession to the throne.^ 

But her husband had declined to come to her help ; 
her city of Oxford was lost ; her prestige had suffered a 
final blow; the great combination scheme was at an 

' See bis charter to Wallingford (printed in Heame's Liber Niger [1771], 
pp. 817, 818), in which he grants privileges " pro servitio et labore magno 
quern pro me sustinuerunt in acquisitione hereditarii juris mei in Anglia." 

( 20I ) 



The movements of Geoffrey during the latter half of 1142 
are shrouded in utter darkness. After the surrender of 
the isle of Ely, we lose sight of him altogether, save in 
the glimpse afforded us by the Oxford intrigue. It is, 
however, quite possible that we should assign to the period 
of the siege of Oxford Castle (September — December, 1142) 
a charter to Abingdon Abbey which passed at Oxford.^ 
For if we deduct from its eight witnesses the two local 
barons (Walter de Bocland and Hugh de Bolbec), five of 
the remaining six are found in the Canterbury charter.^ 
In that case, Geoffrey, who figures at their head, must 
have been at Oxford, in Stephen's quarters, at some time 
in the course of the siege. He would obviously not declare 
for the Empress till the time was ripe for the scheme, 

' Chronicle of Abingdon, ii. 178, 179. Assigned to " probably about the 
Christmas of 1135 " (p. 542). 

'^ See p. 143. They are Earl Geoffrey, Robert de Ver, William of Ypres, 
Adam " de Belnaio," and Richard de Luci. The sixth, " Mainfeninus 
Brito," we have seen attesting Stephen's first charter to Geoffrey in 1140 
(p. 52). Another charter, perhaps, may also be assigned to this period, 
namely, that of Stephen (at Oxford) to St. Frideswide's, of which the original 
is now preserved in the Bodleian Library. For this, as for the preceding 
charter, the date suggested is 1135 (Calendar of Charters and Rolls), but tlie 
names of William of Ypres and Richard de Luci prove that this date is too 
early. These names, with that of Robert de Ver, are common to both 
charters, and if Richard de Luci's earliest attestation is in the summer of 
1140, it is quite possible that this charter should be assigned to the siege 
of 1142. 


and, in the meanwhile, it might disarm suspicion, and 
secure his safety in the case of the capture or defeat of 
the Empress, if he continued outwardly in full allegiance 
to the king. 

It was not till the following year that the crisis at 
length came. Stephen, at Mid-Lent, had attended a 
council at London, at which decrees w^ere passed against 
the general disregard of the rights and privileges of the 
Church. Her ministers were henceforth to be free from 
outrage, and her sanctuaries from violation, under penalty 
of an excommunication which only the pope himself could 

At some period in the course of the year (1143) after 
this council — possibly about the end of September — the 
king held a court at St. Albans, to which, it would seem, 
there came the leading nobles of the realm.^ Among them 
was the Earl of Essex, still at the height of his power. 
Of what passed on this occasion we have, from independent 
quarters, several brief accounts.^ Of the main fact there 
is no question. Stephen, acting on that sudden impulse 
which roused him at times to unwonted vigour, struck at 
last, and struck home. The mighty earl was seized and 
bound, and according to the regular practice throughout 
this internecine warfare, the surrender of the castles on 
which his strength was based was made the price of his 
liberty. As with the arrest of the bishops at Oxford in 
1139, so was it now with the arrest of the great earl at St. 
Albans, and so it was again to be at Northampton, with 

^ Bog. Wend., ii. 233 ; Mat. Paris (Hist. Angl), i. 270 ; Hen. Hunt., p. 276. 

2 No cine to this date, important though it is for our story, is afibrded 
by any of the ordinary chroniclers. The London Chronicle, however, pre- 
served in the Liber de Antiquis Legibus (fol. 35), carefully dates it " post 
festum Sancti Michaelis." 

3 Mon. Ang., iv. 142 ; Mat. Paris (Hist. Angl), i. 270, 271 ; William of 
Newhirgh, cap. xi. ; Gesta Stephani, pp. 103, lOl ; Hen. Hunt., p. 276. 


the arrest of the Earl of Chester some three years later. 
What it was that decided Stephen to seize this moment 
for thus reasserting his authority, it is not so easy to 
say. William of Newhurgh, who is fullest on the subject, 
gives us the story, which is found nowhere else, of the 
earl's outrage on the king more than three years before,^ 
and tells us that Stephen had been ever since awaiting 
an opportunity for revenge.^ He adds that the height of 
power to which the earl had attained had filled the king 
with dread, and hints, I think, obscurely at that great 
conspiracy of which the earl, as we have seen, was the 
pivot and the moving spirit.^ Henry of Huntingdon 
plainly asserts that his seizure was a necessity for the 
king, who would otherwise have lost his crown through 
the King-maker's treacherous schemes.* We may, indeed, 
safely believe that the time had now come when Stephen 
felt that it must be decided whether he or Geoffrey were 
master.^ But, as with the arrest of the bishops at Oxford 
four years before, so, at this similar crisis, his own feelings 
and his own jealousy of a power beneath which he chafed 
were assiduously fostered and encouraged by a faction 
among the nobles themselves. This is well brought out 
in the Chronicle of Walden Abbey,^ and still more so in 
the Gesta. It is there distinctly asserted that this faction 
worked upon the king, by reminding him of Geoffrey's 

» See p. 47. 

2 "Acceptam ab eo injuriam rex caute dissimulabat, et tempus oppor- 
tunum quo se ulcisceretur, observabat." 
^ " Subtili astutia ingentia moliens." 

* " Nisi enim hoc egisset, perfidia eonsulis illius regno privatus fuisset." 

* Compare the words of the Gesta : " Ubique per reguum regis vices 
adimplens et in rebus agendis rege avidius exaudiretur et in praeceptis 
injungendis plus ei quam regi obtemperaretur." 

^ " Tandem vero a quibusdara regni majoribus, stimulante invidia, iniqua 
loquentibus, quasi regis proditor ac patriae dilator erga regem mendaciter 
clauculo accusatus est. . . . Vir autem iste magnanimus subdola raalignantium 
fraude, ut jam dictum est, delusus" (Mow. Aug., iv. 142). 


unparalleled power, and of his intention to declare for 
the Empress, urging him to arrest the earl as a traitor, 
to seize his castles and crush his power, and so to secure 
safety for himself and peace for his troubled realm. ^ It 
is added that, Stephen hesitating to take the decisive step, 
the jealousy of the barons blazed forth suddenly into open 
strife, taunts and threats being hurled at one another by 
the earl and his infuriated opponents.^ On the king 
endeavouring to allay the tumult, the earl was charged 
to his face with plotting treason. Called upon to rebut 
the charge, he did not attempt to do so, but laughed with 
cynical scorn. The king, outraged beyond endurance, at 
once ordered his arrest, and his foes rushed upon him.^ 

The actual seizure of the earl appears to have been 
attended by circumstances of which we are only informed 
from a somewhat unexpected quarter. Mathew Paris, 
from his connection with St. Albans, has been able to 
preserve in his Historia Anglorum the local tradition of 
the event. From this we learn, firstly, that there was a 
struggle; secondly, that there w^as a flagrant violation of 
the right of sanctuary. The struggle, indeed, was so 
sharp that the Earl of Arundel, whom we know to have 
been an old opponent of Geoffrey (see p. 323), was rolled 

^ " Turn quia Galfridu8, ut videbatur, omnia regni jura sibi callide 
usurparat, turn quia regnum ut in ore jam vulgi celebre fuerat, comitissae 
Andegavensi conferre disposuerat, ad hoc regem secreta persuasione impule- 
runt, quatinus Galfridum de proditionis infamia notatum caperet, et redditis 
qusecunque possederat castellis, et rex post hinc secunis, et regnum ipsius 
haberetur pacatius " (Gesta). 

^ "Rege multo tempore diflferente, ne regia majestas turpi proditionis 
opprobrio infameretur, subito inter Galfridum et barones, injuriis et minis 
utrinque protensis, orta seditio " (ibid.). 

^ " Curaque rex habitam inter eos dissensionem, sedatis partibus, niteretur 
dirimere, affuerunt quid am, qui Galfridum de proditionis factione in se et 
SU08 machinata, libera fronte accusabant. Curaque se de objecto crimine 
minime purgaret, sed turpissimam infamiam verbis jocosis alludendu 
intringeret, rex et qui prsesentea erant Barones Galfridum et suos repente 
ceperunt " (ibid.). 


over, horse and all, and nearly drowned in "Holywell." 
The fact that this tussle took place in the open would 
seem to imply that the whole of this highly dramatic 
episode took place out of doors. -^ As to the other of these 
two points, it is clear that there was something discredit- 
able to Stephen, according to the opinion of the time, in 
his sudden seizure of the earl. William of Newburgh 
observes that he acted '*non quidem honeste et secundum 
jus gentium, sed pro merito ejus et metu; scilicet, quod 
expediret quam quod deceret plus attendens." Henry of 
Huntingdon similarly writes that such a step was ''magis 
secundum retributionem nequitiae consulis quam secundum 
jus gentium, magis ex necessitate quam ex honestate."^ 
The Chronicle of Walden, also, complains of the circum- 
stances of his arrest ; ^ and even the panegyrist of Stephen 

* This story, being told by Mathew Paris alone, and evidently as a 
matter of tradition, must be accepted with considerable caution. He makes 
the singular and careless mistake of speaking of Earl Geoffrey as William 
(sic) de Mandeville, though he properly terms him, the following year, 
" Gaufridus consul de Mandeville." On the other hand, it is possible to 
apply a test which yields not unsatisfactory results. Mathew tells us that 
the Earl of Arundel was unhorsed "a Walkelino de Oxeai [alias Oxehaie] 
milite strenuissimo." Now there was, contemporary with Mathew himself, 
a certain Richard "de Oxeya," who held by knight-service of St. Albans 
Abbey, and who, in 1245, was jointly responsible with " Petronilla de 
Crokesle " for the service of one knight (Chron. Majora^ vi. 437). Turning 
to a list of the abbey's knights, which is dated by the editor in the Rolls 
Series as " 1258," but which is quite certainly some hundred years earlier, 
we find this same knight's fee held jointly by Richard "de Crokesle" and a 
certain " Walchelinus." Here then we may perhaps recognize that very 
" Walchelinus de Oxeai " who figures in Mathew's story, a story whicli 
Richard "de Oxeya" may have told him as a family tradition. Indeed, 
there is evidence to prove that this identification is correct. 

2 The coincidence of language between these two passages, beginning 
respectively " eodem tempore " and " eodem anno," ought to be noticed, for 
it has been overlooked by Mr. Hewlett in his valuable edition of William 
of Newburgh for the Rolls Series, though he notes those on p. 34 before it, 
and on p. 48 after it, in his instructive remarks on the indebtedness of 
William of Newburgh to others (p. xxvi.). 

' "Vir iste nobilis, cseteris in pace recedentibus, solus, rege jubente, 
fraudulenter comprehensus, et, ne abiret, custodibus designatis, detentus 
est" (Mow. ^w^., iv. 142). 


is anxious to clear his fame by imputing to the barons the 
suggestion of what he admits to be a questionable act, and 
claiming for the king the credit of reluctance to adopt 
their advice.^ 

But there was a more serious charge brought against 
the king than that of dishonourable behaviour to the earl. 
He was accused of violating by his conduct the rights of 
sanctuary of St. Albans, though he had sworn, we are 
told, not to do so, and had taken part so shortly before 
in that council of London at which such violations were 
denounced. The abbot's knights, indeed, went so far as 
to resist by force of arms this outrage on the Church's 
rights.^ It is clearly to the contest thus caused, rather 
than (as implied by Mathew) to the actual arrest of 
Geoffrey, that we must assign the struggle in which the 
Earl of Arundel was unhorsed by Walchelin de Oxeai, for 
Walchelin was one of the abbey's knights, and was, there- 
fore, fighting in her cause. ^ 

Though the friends of the earl interceded on his 

' " Xe regia majestas turpi proditionis opprobio infamaretur." 
' "Milites autem beati Albani, qui tunc, ad ecclesiae ejus custodiam et 
villaB fossatis circumdatse, i} sum vicum, qui juxta caenobium est, inhabitabaut, 
ipsi regi in faciem viriliter restiterunt, donee ecclesias, quam quidam ex 
regiis aedituis violaverant, satisfecisset ipse rex, et ejus temerarii invasores. 
. . . Et hoc fecit rex contra jusjurandum, quod fecerat apud Sanctum 
Albanum, et coutra statuta concilii nuper, eo consentiente, celebrati" 
(Matbew Paris, EUtoria Anglorum, i. 271). 

2 An incidental allusion to this conflict between the followers of the king 
and the abbey's knights is to be found, I think, in a curious passage in the 
Gesta Ahhatum S. Albani (i 94). We there read of Abbot Geoffrey (1119- 
1146): "Tabulam quoque unam ex auro et argento et gemmis electis 
artificiose constructam ad longitudinem et Lititudinem altaris Sancti Albani, 
quam delude, ingruente maxima necessitate, idem Abbas in igne conflavit et 
in massam confregit. Quam dedit Comiti de "Warrena et Willelmo de Ypra 
et Comiti de Arundel et "Willelmo Martel, temporibus Regis Stephani, Villam 
Sancti Albani volentibus concremare.^' The conjunction of W^illiam of Ypres 
with Abbot Geoffrey dates this incident within the limits 1139-1146, and 
there is no episode to which it can be so fitly assigned as this of 1143, 
especially as the Earl of Arundel figures in both versions. 


behalf,^ the king had no alternative but to complete what 
he had begun. After what he had done there could be no 
hope of reconciliation with the earl. Geoffrey was offered 
the usual choice ; either he must surrender his castles, or 
he must go to the gallows. Taken to London, he was 
clearly made, according to the practice in these cases, to 
order his own garrison to surrender to the king. Thus he 
saw the fortress which he had himself done so much to 
strengthen, the source of his power and of his pride, pass 
for ever from his grasp. He had also to surrender, before 
regaining his freedom, his ancestral Essex strongholds of 
Fleshy and Saffron Walden.^ 

The earl's impotent rage when he found himself thus 
overreached is dwelt on by all the chroniclers.^ The king's 
move, moreover, had now forced his hand, and the revolt 
so carefully planned could no longer be delayed, but broke 
out prematurely at a time when the Empress was not in 
a position to offer effective co-operation. 

We must now return to the doings of Nigel, Bishop of 

^ "Et licet multi amicorum 8uorum,talia ei injuste illata segre ferentium, 
pro eo regem interpellarent " (Mon. Aug., iv. 142). 

' "Kex igitur Galfridum, custodiis arctissime adhibitis, Londonias 
adducens, ni turrim et quae miro labore et artificio erexerat castella in manus 
ejuscommitteret, suspendio cruciari paravit; cum salubri amicorum persuasus 
consilio, ut imminens inhonestse mortis periculum, castellis redditis, devitaret, 
regis voluntati tandem satisfecit" (^Gesta, p. 104). "Igitur, ut rex liberaret 
eum reddidit ei turrim LundonisB et castellum de Waledene et illud de 
Plaisseiz " (fleji. Hunt, p. 276). " Eique arcem Lundoniensem cum duobus 
reliquis quse possidebat castellis extorsit [rex] " ( W. Newburgh, i. 45). The 
castle of (Saffron) Walden, with the surrounding district, was placed by 
Stephen in charge of Turgis d'Avranches, whom we have met with before, 
and who refused, some two years later, to admit the king to it {Gesta, ed. 
Hewlett, p. 101). Mr. Howlett appears to have confused it with another 
castle which Stephen took "in the Lent of 1139," for Walden was Geoffrey's 
hereditary seat and had always been in his hands. 

' *' Regnique totius communem ad jacturam, tali modo liberatus de medio 
illorum evasit" (Gesta, p. 104). " Quo facto, velut equus validus et infrsBuis, 
morsibus, calcibus quoslibet obvios dilaniare non cessavit " (Mon. Ang., 
iv. 142). 


Ely. That prelate bad for a year (1142-43) been peace- 
fully occupied in bis see. But at tbe council of 1143 bis 
past conduct bad been gravely impugned. Alarmed at 
tbe turn affairs were taking, be decided to consult tbe 
Empress.^ He must, I tbink, bave gone by sea, for we 
find bim, on bis way at Warebam, tbe port for reacbing 
bar in Wiltsbire. Here be was surprised and plundered 
by a party of tbe king's men.^ He succeeded, bowever, 
in reacbing tbe Empress, and tben returned to Ely. He 
bad now resolved to appeal to tbe pope in person, a 
resolve quickened, it may be, by tbe fact tbat tbe legate, 
wbo was one of bis cbief opponents, bad gone tbitber in 
November (1143). Witb great difficulty, and after long 
debate, be prevailed on tbe monks to let bim carry off, 
from among tbe remaining treasures of tbe cburcb, a large 
amount of tbose precious objects witbout tbe assistance 
of wbicb, especially in a doubtful cause, it would bave been 
but lost labour to appeal to tbe beir of tbe Apostles. As 
it was Pope Lucius before wbom be successfully cleared 
bis character, and as Lucius was not elected till tbe Marcb 
of tbe following year (1144), I bave placed bis departure 
for Eome subsequent to tbat of tbe legate. He may, of 
course, bave arrived there sooner and applied to Coelestine 
witbout success, but as that pontiff favoured the Empress, 
this is not probable. Indeed, the wording of the narrative 
is distinctly opposed to tbe idea.^ In any case, my object 
is to show tbat tbe period of bis absence abroad bar- 

* "Episcopus vero Elyensis pro tarn imminenti sibi negotio auxilium 
Dominse Imperatricis et suorum colloqiuum requirendum putavit " (Anglia 
Sacra, i. 622). 

^ This might lead us to suppose that the incident belonged to the latter 
half of 1142, when Wareham was in the king's hands. The date (1143), 
however, cannot be in question. 

' Histcria Eliensis, p. 623. Theobald, from his Angevin sympathies? 
supported Nigel's cause. 


monizes well with the London Chronicle, which places 
Geoffrey's revolt about the end of the year. For the 
bishop had been gone some time when the earl obtained 
possession of Ely.^ 

Hugh Bigod, the Earl of Norfolk, whose allegiance 
had ever sat lightly upon him, appears to have eventually 
become his ally,^ but for the time we hear only of his 
brother-in-law, William de Say, as actively embracing his 
cause.^ He must, however, have relied on at least the 
friendly neutrality of his relatives, the Clares and the 
De Veres, in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, and Essex, as well 
as on the loyalty of his own vassals. It is possible, from 
scattered sources, to trace his plan of action, and to re- 
construct the outline of what we may term the fenland 

Fordham, in Cambridgeshire, on the Suffolk border, 
appears to have been his base of operations. Here supplies 
could reach him from Suffolk and North Essex. He was 
thence enabled to advance to Ely, the bishop being at this 
time absent at Kome, and his forces being hard pressed 
by those which Stephen had despatched against them. 
The earl gladly accepted their appeal to himself for 
assistance, and was placed by them in possession of the 
isle, including its key, Aldreth Castle.* He soon made 
a further advance, and, pushing on in the same direction, 
burst upon Eamsey Abbey on a December^ morning at 

* See Appendix Z : *' Bishop Nigel at Rome.** 

* *' Hugone quoque, cognomente Bigot, viro illustri et in illis partibus 
potenti, sibi confoederato " {Gesta, p. 106). 

' Mon. Ang.^ iv. 142. 

* " Homines regis erga locum fratrum Ely insidias unanimiter paraverunt, 
adversum quos cum custodes insulsB non suflScereiit rebellare, Galfridum 
comitem, tunc adversarium [Stephani regis,] incendiis patriam et seditione 
perturbantem, suscipiunt; cui etiam castrum de Ely, atque Alrehede, ob 
firmamentum tuitiouis, submiserunt " {Historia Eliensis, p. 623). 

* Here again we are indebted for the date to the London Chronicle (Liber 



daybreak, seized the monks in their beds, drove them forth 
clad as they were, and turned the abbey into a fortified 

He was probably led to this step by the confusion then 
reigning among the brethren. A certain scheming monk, 
Daniel by name, had induced the abbot to resign in his 
favour. The resignation was indignantly repudiated by 
the monks and the tenants of the abbey, but Stephen, 
bribed by Daniel, had visited Eamsey in person, and 
installed him by force as abbot only eighteen days before 
the earl's attack.^ It is, therefore, quite possible that, as 
stated in the Walden Chronicle, Daniel may have been 
privy to this gross outrage. In any case the earl's 
conduct excited universal indignation.^ He stabled his 
horses in the cloisters ; he plundered the church of its 
most sacred treasures; he distributed its manors among 
his lawless followers, and he then sent them forth to 
ravage far and wide. In short, in the words of the pious 
chronicler, he made of the church of God a very den of 

de Ant. Leg., fol. 35), which states that Geoflfrey " in adventu Domini fecit 
castellum Ecclesiam de Kameseya." Geoffrey's doings may well have been 
of special interest to the Londoners. 

* " Ira humanum excedente modum, ita eflferatus est, ut procurantibus 
Willelmo de Saye et Daniele quodam falsi nominis ac ton suras monacho, 
navigio cum suis subvectus Rameseiam peteret, ecclesiam Deo ac beato patri 
Ben.edictodicatamsummomane ausu temerario primitus invadendo subintraret, 
monachosque omnes post divinum nocturnale oflScium sopori deditos compre- 
henderet, et vlx habitu simplici indutos expellendo statim perturbaret, 
nullaque interveniente mora, ecclesiam illam satis pulcherrimam, non ut 
Dei castrum sed sicut castellum, superius ac inferius, intus ac extra, fortiter 
munivit " {Mon. Aug., iv. 142). 

" Hie totus in rabiem invectus Eamesiam, nobile monasterium invadens, 
fugata monachorum caterva, custodiam posuit " (Leland's Collectanea, i. 600). 

* CJironicon Ahhaiise Bamesiensis. pp. 327-329. 

' Monachis expulsis, raptores immisit, et ecclesiam Dei speluncam fecit 
latronum" (Hen. Hunt., p. 277). 

* " Vasa autem altaris aurea et argentea Deo sacrata, capas etiam canto- 
rum lapidibus preciosis ac opere mirifico contextas, casulis cum albis, et 


But for the time these same enormities enabled the 
daring earl at once to increase the number of his followers 
and to acquire a strategical position unrivalled for his 
purpose. The soldiers of fortune and mercenary troopers 
who now swarmed throughout the land flocked in crowds 
to his standard, and he was soon at the head of a sufficient 
force to undertake offensive operations.-^ From his ad- 
vanced post at Eamsey Abbey, he was within striking 
distance of several important points, while himself com- 
paratively safe from attack. His front and right flank 
were covered by the meres and fens ; his left was to some 
extent protected by the Ouse and its tributaries, and was 
further strengthened by a fortified work, erected by his son 
Ernulf at one of the abbey's manors. Wood Walton.^ In 
his rear lay the isle of Ely, with its castles in the hands 
of his men, and its communications with the Eastern 
Counties secured by his garrison at Fordham.^ His posi- 
tions at Ely and Eamsey were themselves connected by a 
garrison, on the borders of the two counties, at Benwick.* 

casteris ecclesiastic! decoris ornamentis rapuit, et quibuslibet eruere volentibus 
vili satis precio distraxit unde militibus et satellitibus suis debita largitus 
est stipendia" (Mon. Aug., iv. 142). " Coenobiumque sancti Benedicti de 
RameseiS, non solum, captis monacborum spoliis, altaribus quoque et sanc- 
torum reliquiis nudatis, expilavit, sed etiam expulsis incompassive monachis 
de monasterio, militibusque impositis castellum sibi adaptavit " (Gesta, p. 105). 
" Cum manu forti monasterium ipsum occupavit, monacbos dispersit, thesau- 
rum et omnia ecclesise ornamenta sacrilega manu surripuit et ex ipso monas- 
terio stabulum fecit equorum, villas adjaceutes commilitonibus pro stipendiis 
distribuit " (Chron. Bam., p. 329). 

^ " Galfridus igitur, ubique in regno fide sibi et bominio conjuratis in 
unum secum cuneum convocatis, gregarias quoque militiaB sed et prsedonum, 
qui undecumque devote concur reran t, robustissima manu in suum protinus 
conspirata collegium, ignibus et gladio ubique locorum dessevire " (Gesta, 
p. 105). " Crebris eruptionibus atque excursionibus vicinas infestavit pro- 
vincias" (TF. Newhurgh, i. 45). 

' " Castellum quoddam fecerat apud Waltone " (Chron. Ram., p. 332). 

' " Inde recessum babuit per Ely quiete : Fordham quoque contra hostes 
sibi cum valida manu firmare usurpavit " (Historia Eliensis, p. 623). 

♦ " Similiter apud Benewik in transitu aquarum " (ibid.). 


Thus situated, the earl was enabled to indulge his 
thii'st for vengeance, if not on Stephen himself, at least 
on his unfortunate subjects. From his fastness in the 
fenland he raided forth ; his course was marked by wild 
havoc, and he returned laden with plunder.^ 

Cambridge, as being the king's town, underwent at his 
hands the same fate that Nottingham had suffered in 
1140, or Worcester in 1139, at the hands of the Earl of 
Gloucester.^ Bursting suddenly on the town, he sur- 
prised, seized, and sacked it. As at Worcester, the 
townsmen had stored in the churches such property as 
they could ; but the earl was hardened to sacrilege : the 
doors were soon crashing beneath the axes of his eager 
troopers, and when they had pillaged to their hearts' 
content, the town was committed to the flames.^ The 
whole country round was the scene of similar deeds.* 
The humblest village church was not safe from his 
attack,^ but the religious houses, from their own wealth, 
and from the accumulated treasiu'es which, for safety, 
were then stored within their walls, offered the most 
alluring prize. It is only from the snatch of a popular 
rhyme that we learn incidentally the fact that St. Ives 
was treated even as the abbey of which it was a daughter- 

^ "Omnia adversus regise partis coDsentaneos abripere et conBumere, 
nudare et destruere" {Geda, p. 105). "Maneria, villas, ceteraque proprie- 
tatem regiam contingentia primitus invasit, igni combussit, prsedasque cum 
rapiiiis non minimis inde sublatas commilitonibus suis larga manu distri- 
buit " (Monasticon, iv. 142). 

2 Cont. Flor. Wig., ii. 119, 128. Compare the Peterborough Chronicle : 
" Raeuedan hi & breudon alle the tunes" ^Ang. Sax. CJiron., i. 382). 

^ Gesta. 

* " Talique ferocitate in omnem circumquaque provinciam, in omnibus 
etiam, quascunque obviam habebat, ecclesiis immiseranter desaeviit ; posses- 
siones coenobiorum, distractis rebus, depopulatis omnibus in solitudinem 
redegit; sanctuaria eorum, vel qusecumque in serariis concredita repone- 
bantur sine metu vel pietate ferox abripuit " (ibid.). 

* " Locis sacris vel ipsis de ecclesiis nuUam deferendo exhibuit reveren- 
tiam " {Monasticon, iv. 142). 


house. In a MS. of the Historia Anglorum there is pre- 
served by Mathew Paris the tradition that the earl and 
his lawless followers mockingly sang of their wild doings — 

" I ne mai a live 
For Benoit ne for Ive." ^ 

It may not have been observed that this jingle refers 
to St. Benedict of Eamsey and its daughter-house of 
St. Ives.2 

Emboldened by success, he extended his ravages, till 
his deeds could no longer be ignored.^ Stephen, at 
length fairly roused, marched in strength against him, 
determined to suppress the revolt. But the earl, skilfully 
avoiding an encounter in the open field, took refuge in 
the depths of the fenland and baffled the efforts of the 
king. Finding it useless to prolong the chase, Stephen 
fell back on his usual policy of establishing fortified posts 
to hem the rebels in. In these he placed garrisons, and 
so departed.* 

Geoffrey was now at his worst. Checked in extending 
his sphere of plunder, he ravaged, with redoubled energy, 
the isle itself. His tools, disguised as beggars, wandered 
from door to door, to discover those who were still able 
to relieve them from their scanty stores. The hapless 

* "Facti enim amentes cantitabat unusquisque Anglice," etc. The 
" Anglice " reads oddly. Strange that the sufferings of the people should be 
bewailed and made merry over in the same tongue 1 

* Stephen himself behaved no better, to judge from the story in the 
Chronicle of Abingdon (ii. 292), where it is alleged that the king, being 
informed of a large sum of money stored in the treasury of the abbey, sent 
his satellite, William d'Ypres, who, gaining admission on the plea of prayer, 
broke open the chest with an axe, and carried off the treasure. 

' " Militum suorum numerositate immanior factus, per totam circumcirca 
discurrendo provinciam nuUi cuicunque pecuniam possidenti parcere vovit " 
(ilfon. Aug., iv. 142). 

*' Crebris eruptionibus et excursionibus vicinas infestavit provincias. 
Deinde sumpta ex successu fiducia longius progrediens, regem Stephanum 
acerrimis fatigavit terruitque incursibus" (^Will. Newh., i. 45). 

* Gesta. 


victims of this stratagem were seized at dead of night, 
dragged before the earl as a great prize, and exposed in 
turn to every torture that a devilish ingenuity could devise 
till the ransom demanded by their captors had been 
extorted to the uttermost farthing.^ I cannot but think 
that the terrible picture of the cruelties which have made 
this period memorable for ever in our history was painted 
by the Peterborough chronicler from life, and that these 
very doings in his own neighbom'hood inspired his im- 
perishable words. 

Nor was it only the earl that the brethren of Ely had 
to fear. Stephen, infuriated at the loss of the isle, laid 
the blame at their bishop's door, and seized all those of 
their possessions which were not within the earl's grasp. 
The monks, thus placed "between the devil and the deep 
sea," were indeed at their wits' end.^ A very interesting 
reference to this condition of things is found in a com- 
munication from the pope to Archbishop Theobald, stating 

^ " Exploratores vero illius, habitu rautato, more egenorum ostiatim 
oberrantes, villanis et cseteris hujusmodi hominibus pecunia a Deo data 
abundantibus insidiabantur, quibus taliter compertis intempestse noctia 
silentio, tempore tamen primitus condderato, Sathanae satellites a comite 
transmittebantur qui viros innocuos alto sopore quandoque detentos raperent 
raptos vero quasi pro magno munere ei presentarent. Qui mox immani 
supplicio, per intervalla tamen, vexabantur et tamdiu per tormenta varia 
vicissim sibi succedentia toiquebantur, donee pecuniae eis impositae ultimum 
solverent quadrantem " {Monasticon^ iv. 142). An incidental allusion to this 
system of robbery by ransom is found in an inquisition (temp. John) on 
the royal manor of Writtle, Essex (Testa de Nevill, p. 270 6). It is there 
recorded that Godebold of Writtle, who held land at Boreham, was captured 
by Geoffrey and forced to mortgage his land to raise the means for his 
ransom: "Godebold de Writel' qui eam tenuit captus a comite Galfrido, 
patre "Willelmi de Mandevilla, tempore regis Stephaui, pro redemptione sua 
versus predictum comitem acquietanda posuit in vadimonium," etc. 

^ "Propterea Eex Stephanus, ira graviter accensus, omnia haec reputavit 
ab Episcopo Nigello machinari ; et jussit e vestigio possessiones Ecclesiae 
a suis undequaque distrahi in vindictam odiorum ejus. Succisa igitur 
Monachis rerum facultate suarum, nimis aegre compelluntur in Ecclesi^, 
maxirae ciborum inedia. Unde non habentes victuum, gementes et anxii 
reliquas thesaurorum," etc. (Historia Eliensis, p. 623). 


that Bishop Nigel of Ely has written to complain that 
he found on his return from Kome that Earl Geoffrey, in 
his absence, had seized and fortified the isle, and ravaged 
the possessions of his church within it, while Stephen had 
done the same for those which lay without it. As it 
would seem that this document has not been printed, I 
here append the passage : — 

"Venerabilis frater noster N. elyensis episcopus per literas suas 
nobis significavit quod dum apostolicorum limina et nostram presen- 
tiam visitasset, Gaufridus comes de mandeuilla elyensem insulam ubi 
Redes episcopalis est violenter occupavit et quasdam sibi munitiones 
in ea parauit. Occupatis autem ab ipso comite interioribus, Stepha- 
nus rex omnes ejusdem ecclesie possessiones exteriores occupavit et 
pro voluntate sua illicite distribuit." ^ 

This letter would seem to have been written subsequent 
to Nigel's return. The bishop, however, had heard while 
at Kome of these violent proceedings,^ and had prevailed 
on Lucius to write to Theobald and his fellow-bishops, 
complaining — 

"Quod a quibusdam parrochianis vestris bona et possessiones 
elyensis ecclesie, precipue dum ipse ab episcopatu expulsus esset, 
direpta sunt et occupata et contra justitiam teneantur. Quidam 
etiam sub nomine tenseriarum villas et homines suos spoliant et 
iujustis operationibus et exaccionibus opprimunt." ^ 

But the bishop was not the only sufferer who turned 
to Kome for help. When Stephen installed the ambitious 
Daniel as Abbot of Kamsey in person, Walter, the late 
abbot, had sought **the threshold of the Apostles." 
Daniel, whether implicated or not in Geoffrey's sacrile- 
gious deeds, found himself virtually deposed when the 

» Cotton. MS., Tib. A. vi. fol. 117. 

2 "HsBC omuia episcopo, quamvis RomsB longius commoranti, satis 
innotuerunt, et gratia Domini Papse sublimiter donatus, his munimentis 
tandem roboratus contra deprimeutum ingenia, ad domum gaudens rediit " 
(Historia Miensis, p. 623). 

» Cotton. MS., Tib. A. vi. fol. 116 6. See Appendix AA : " Tenserie." 


abbey became a fortress of the earl. Alarmed also for 
the possible consequence of Walter's appeal to Eome, he 
resolved to follow his example and betake himself to the 
pope, trusting to the treasure that he was able to bring.-^ 
The guileless simplicity of Walter, however, carried the 
day ; he found favour in the eyes of the curia and returned 
to claim his abbey.^ But though he had been absent only 
three months, the scene was changed indeed. That which 
he had left ''the House of God," he found, as we have 
seen, *' a den of thieves." But the ''dove" who had 
pleaded before the papal court could show himself, at need, 
a lion. Filled, we are told, with the Holy Spirit, he 
entered, undaunted, the earl's camp, seized a flaming 
torch, and set fire not only to the tents of his troopers, 
but also to the outer gate of the abbey, which they had 
made the barbican of their stronghold. But neither this 
novel adaptation of the orthodox "tongues of fire," nor 
yet the more appropriate anathemas which he scattered 
as freely as the flames, could convert the mailed sinners 
from the error of their unhallowed ways. Indeed, it was 
almost a miracle that he escaped actual violence, for the 
enraged soldiery threatened him with death and brandished 
their weapons in his face.^ 

* Chronicle of Ramsey, p. 329. 

* " Quum autem negotium feliciter ibi consnmmasset, reversus in Angliam 
infra tres menses per judices delegates abbatiam suam, Rege super hoc 
multnm murmnrante, recuperavit " (ibid., p. 330). 

* " Quum yero ssepedictus abbas in possessionem abbatiae suae corporaliter 
mitti debuisset, invenit seeleratam familiam praedicti comitis sibi fortiter 
resistentem. Sed ipse, Spiritu Dei plenus, inter sagittas et gladios ipsorum 
saepius in caput ejus vibratos, accessit intrepidus, ignem arripuit, et tentoria 
ipsorum portamque exteriorem quam incastellaverant viriliter incendit et 
combussit. Sed nee propter incendium nee propter anathema quod in eos 
fuerat sententiatum locum amatum deserere vel abbati cedere voluemnt. 
Creditur a multis miraculose factum esse quod nullus ex insanis prsedonibus 
illis manus in eum misit dum eorum tecta combureret quamvis lanceis et 
sagittis, multum irati, dum haec faceret, mortem ei cominus intentarent" 


In the excited state of the minds of those by whom 
such sights were witnessed, portents would be looked for, 
and found, as signs of the wrath of Heaven. Before long 
it was noised abroad that the very walls of the abbey were 
sweating blood, as a mark of Divine reprobation on the 
deeds of its impious garrison.^ Far and wide the story 
spread ; and men told with bated breath how they had 
themselves seen and touched the abbey's bleeding walls. 
Among those attracted by the wondrous sight was Henry, 
Archdeacon of, Huntingdon, who has recorded for all time 
that he beheld it with his own eyes.^ And as they spoke 
to one another of the miracle, in which they saw the finger 
of God, the starving peasants whispered their hopes that 
the hour of their deliverance was at hand. 

The time, indeed, had come. As the now homeless 
abbot wandered over the abbey's lands, sick at heart, in 
weariness and want, the sights that met his despairing 
eyes were enough to make him long for death. ^ Barely 
a 'plough remained on all his broad demesnes ; all pro- 
visions had been carried off; no man tilled the land. 
Every lord had now his castle, and every castle was a 
robber's nest.^ In vain he boldly appealed to Earl 

* "Aliud etiam illis diebus fertur contigisse miraculum, quod lapides 
murorum ecclesise Kamesensis, claustri etiam et oflScinarum quas praedones 
inhabitaverant, in magna quantitate guttas sanguinis emiserunt, unde per 
totam Angliam rumor abiit admirabilis, et magnse super hoc habitse sunt 
inter omnes ad invicem coUationes. Erat enim quasi notorium, et omnibus 
intueri volentibus visu et tactu manifestum " (ibid.). 

^ "Dum autem ecclesia ilia pro castello teneretur, ebullivit sanguis a 
parietibus ecclesie et claustri adjacentis, indignationem divinam manifestans, 
exterminationem sceleratorum denuntians ; quod multi quidem, et ipse ego, 
oculis meis inspexi" (Hen. Hunt, p. 277). 

' " Miserabilis abbas iste post tot labores et serumnas quietem habere et 
domum suam recuperasse sperabat a qua dolens et exspes recessit, laboribus 
expensis ita fatigatus ut jam tsederet eum vivere. Non enim habebat unde 
modice familisB suae equitaturas et sumptus necessaries posset providere'* 
(jChron. Ram., p. 331). 

* "In omnibus terris dominicis totius abbatiae unam tantum carucam 
reperit et dimidiam, reperit victualium nihil ; debitum urgebat ; teiTse jace- 


Geoffrey himself, warning him to his face that he and his 
would remain cut off from the communion of Christians 
till the abbey was restored to its owners. The earl listened 
with impatience, and gave him a vague promise ; but he 
kept his hold of the abbey.-^ The heart of the spoiler was 
hardened like that of Pharaoh of old, and not even 
miracles could move him to part with his precious 

But if Kamsey had thus suffered, what had been the 
fate of Ely? A bad harvest, combined with months of 
systematic plunder, had brought about a famine in the 
land. For the space of twenty or even thirty miles, 
neither ox nor plough was to be seen ; barely could the 
smallest bushel of grain be bought for two hundred pence. 
The people, by hundreds and thousands, were perishing 

bant iucultsB. . . . Oportuit praefatum abbatem xxiiii castell[? anis] vel 
amplius singulis mensibus pro rusticis suis redemptiones seu tenserias 
prsestare, qui tarn per Danielem quam per ipsos malefactores multum exhausti 
fuerant, et extenuati" (Chron. Earn., 333, 334). This description, though it 
is applied to the state of things which awaited the abbot on Earl Geoffrey's 
death, is obviously in point here. It is of importance for its allusion to the 
plough, which illustrates the language of Domesday (the plough-teams being 
always the first to suffer, and the most serious loss : compare Bishop Dene- 
wulf's tenth-century charter in Liher de Hyda), but still more for its mention 
of the tenserise. Here we have the very same word, used at the very same 
time, at Peterborough, Ramsey, and Ely. The correction, therefore, of the 
English Chronicle is utterly unjustifiable (see Appendix AA). Moreover, a com- 
parison of this passage with the letter of Pope Lucius {ante, p. 215) shows that 
at Ramsey, as at Ely, the evil effect of this state of things continued in these 
tenser ice even after the bishop and the abbot had respectively regained possession. 

^ " Suorum tandem consilio fretus, comitem Gaufridum adiit, monasterii 
sui detentorem, patenter et audacter ei ostendens tam ipsum quam totam 
familiam ipsius, tam ex ipso facto quam apostolica auctoritate interveniente, 
a Christian^, communione esse privatos, domum suam sibi postulans restitui 
si vellet absolvi. Quod comes vix patienter audiens, plures ei terminos de 
reddenda possessione sua constituit, sed promissum nunquam adimplevit 
ita ut cum potius deludere videretur quam ablatam possessionem sibi velle 
restituere ; unde miser abbas miserabiliter aflBictus mortis debitum jam vellet 
exsolvisse '* (Chron. Ram.^ p. 331). 

* '*Sed prophani milites in sua malitia pertinaces nee sic domum Dei 
quam pollueraut reddere voluerant ; induratum enim erat cor eorum " 
{ihid., p. 330). 


for want of bread, and their corpses lay unburied in the 
fields, a prey to beasts and to fowls of the air. Not for 
ages past, as it seemed to the monks, had there been such 
tribulation upon earth.-^ Nor were the peasants the only 
sufferers. Might was then right, for all classes, throughout 
the land ; ^ the smaller gentry were themselves seized, and 
held, by their captors, to ransom. As they heard of 
distant villages in flames, as they gazed on strings of 
captives dragged from their ravaged homes, the words of 
the psalmist were adapted in the mouths of the terrified 
monks : " They bind the godly with chains, and the nobles 
with links of iron." ^ In the mad orgie of wickedness 
neither women nor the aged were spared. Eansom was 
wrung from the quivering victims by a thousand refine- 
ments of torture. In the groans of the sufferers, in the 
shrieks of the tortured, men beheld the fulfilment of the 
words of St. John the Apostle, " In those days shall men 
. . . desire to die, and death shall flee from them."^ 

Again we are tempted to ask if we have not in these 
very scenes the actual original from which was drawn the 

* " Oppresserat enim fames omnem regionem ; et segra seges victum 
omnem negaverat ; per viginti milliaria seu triginta non bos non aratrum est 
inventus qui particulam terrse excoleret ; vix parvissimus tunc modius emi 
poterat ducentis deuariis. Tantaque hominum clades de inopia panis 
sequuta est, ut per vicos et plateas centeni et milleni ad instar uteris inflati 
exanimes jacerent: feris et volatilibus cadavera iuhumata relinquebantur. 
Nam multo retro tempore talis tribulatio non fuit in cunctis terrarum regnis " 
(Historia Eliensis, p. 623). 

' "Efferbuit enim per totam Angliam Stephani regis hostilis tribulatio, 
totaque insula vi potius quam ratione regebatur " {Qiron. Bam.., p. 334). 

' " Potentes, per circuitum late vastando, milites ex rapina conducunt ; 
villas comburunt : captives de louge ducentes miserabiliter tractabant ; pios 
alligabant in compedibus et nobiles in manicis ferreis " {Historia Eliensis, 
p. 623). 

* " Furit itaque rabies vesana. Invicta Isetatur malitia : non sexui non 
parcunt setati. Mille mortis species inferunt, ut ab aflflictis pecuniam excu- 
tiant : fit clamor dirus plangeiitium : inhorruit luctus ubique msBrentium ; 
et constat fuisse completum quod nunciatur in Apocalypsi Joannis : ' quaerent 
homines raori et fugiet mors ab eis ' " (ibid.). 


picture in the English Chronicle, a picture which might 
thus he literally true of the chronicler's own district, 
while not necessarily applicable, as the latest research 
suggests, to the whole of Stephen's realm. 

It was now that men ** said openly that Christ slept, 
and His saints." The English chronicler seems to imply, 
and Henry of Huntingdon distinctly asserts, that the 
wicked, emboldened by impunity, said so in scornful 
derision ; but William of Newburgh assigns the cry to 
the sufferings of a despairing people. It is probable 
enough that both were right, that the people and their 
oppressors had reversed the parts of Elijah and the 
priests of Baal. For a time there seemed to rise in vain 
the cry so quaintly Englished in the paraphrase of John 
Hopkins : — 

*' Why doost withdraw thy hand aback, 
And hide it in thy lappe ? 
O pluck it out, and be not slack 
To give thy foes a rappe ! " 

But when night is darkest, dawn is nearest,^ and the end 
of the oppressor was at hand. It was told in after days 
how even Nature herself had shown, by a visible sign, 
her horror of his impious deeds. While marching to the 
siege of Burwell on a hot summer's day, he halted at the 
edge of a wood, and lay down for rest in the shade. 
And lo ! the very grass withered away beneath the touch 
of his unhallowed form ! ^ 

The fortified post which the king's men had now estab- 
lished at Burwell was a standing threat to Fordham, the 
key of his line of communications. He was therefore 

' " Sed verum est quod vulgariter dicitur : * Ubi dolor maximus ibi 
proxima consolatio'" (^Chron. Ram., p. 331). 

^ " Herba viridissima emarcuit, ut eo surgente quasi prgemortua videretur, 
nee toto fere anno viridatis suae vires recuperavit. Unde datur intelligi 
quam detestandum sit consortium excommunicatorum " (Gervase, i. p. 128). 


compelled to attack it. And there he was destined to die 
the death of Eichard Coeur de Lion. As he reconnoitred 
the position to select his point of attack, or as, according 
to others, he was fighting at the head of the troops, he 
carelessly removed his headpiece and loosened his coat 
of mail. A humble bowman saw his chance : an arrow 
whizzed from the fortress, and struck the unguarded head.^ 

There is a conflict of testimony as to the date of the 
event. Henry of Huntingdon places it in August, while 
M. Paris {Chron, Maj., ii. 177) makes him die on the 14th 
of September, and the Walden Chronicle on the 16th. 
Possibly he was wounded in August and lingered on into 
September, but, in any case, Henry's date is the most 

The monks of Kamsey gloried in the fact that their 
oppressor had received his fatal wound as he stood on 
ground which their abbey owned, as a manifest proof that 
his fate was incurred by the wrong he had done to their 

* " Accessit paulo post cum exercitu suo ad quoddam castellum expug- 
nandum quod apud Burewelle de novo fuerat constructum, et quum elevata 
caaside illud circuiret ut infirmiore m ejus partem eligeret ad expugnandum, 
. . . quidam vilissimus Sagittarius ex hiis qui intra castellum erant capiti 
ipsius comitis lethale vulnus impressit " (jChron. Bam., 331, 332). 

" Hie, cum ... in obsidione supradicti castelli de Burwelle in scuto et 
lancea contra adversaries viriliter decertasset, ob nimium calorem cassidem 
deposuit, et loricaB ventilabrum solvit, sicque nudato capite intrepidus 
militavit. ^stus quippe erat. Quern cum vidisset quispiam de castello, et 
adversarium agnosceret, telo gracili quod ganea dicitur eum jam cominus 
positum petiit, que testam capitis ipsius male nudati perforavit" {Gervase^ 
i. 128). 

" Dum nimis audax, nimisque prudentisB suss innitens regisB virtutis 
castella frequentius circumstreperet, ab ipsis tandem regalibus circumventiis 
prosternitur " {Gesta, p. 106). 

" Post hujusmodi tandem excessibus aliisque multis his similibus pub- 
licam anathematis non immerito incurrit sententiam, in qua apud quoddam 
oppidulum in Burwella lethaliter in capite vulneratus est" (^Mon. Ang», 
iv. 142). 

** Inter acies suorum confertas, a quodam peJite vilissimo so'us sagitta 
percussus est. Et ipse, vulnus ridens, post dies tamen ex i^jso vulnere 
excommunicatus occubuit " (^Hen. Runty 276), 


patron saint.^ At Waltbam Abbey, -witb equal pride, it 
was recorded tbat be wbo bad refused to atone for tbe 
wrong he had done to its holy cross received his wound 
in the self-same hour in which its aid was invoked against 
the oppressor of its shrine.^ But all were agreed that 
such a death was a direct answer to the prayer of the 
oppressed, a signal act of Divine vengeance on one who 
had sinned against God and man.^ 

For tbe wound was fatal. The earl, like Eichard in 
after days, made light of it at first. ^ Eetmng, it would 
seem, through Fordbam, along tbe Thetford road, he 
reached Mildenball in Suffolk, and there he remained, to 
die. The monks of bis own foundation believed, and per- 
haps with truth, tbat when face to face with death, he 
displayed heartfelt penitence, prayed earnestly that his 
sins might be forgiven, and made such atonement to God 
and man as his last moments could afford. But there 
was none to give him tbe absolution he craved ; indeed, 
after tbe action which tbe Church bad taken tbe year 

' " In quodam praedio coDsisteret qnod ... ad Ramesense monasterium 
pertinebat, et pertinet usque in hodiemum diem . . . Quod iccirco in fundo 
beati Benedicti factum fuisse creditur ut omnes intelligere possent quod 
Deus ultionum dominus hoc fecerat in odium et vindictam injuriarum 
quas monasterio beati Benedicti sacrilegus comes intulerat" {Chron. Bum., 
p. 331). 

' " Cum uollet satisfacere, placuit fratribus ibidem Deo servientibus in 
transgressionis huius vindictam Crucem deponere si forte dives ille com- 
punctus hoc facto vellet rescipiscere. Tradunt autem qui hiis inquirendis 
diligentiam adbibuerunt eadem depositionis hora Comitem ilium ante castrum 
de Burewelle ad quod expugnandum diligenter operam dabat letale vulnus 
suscepisse et eo infra xl dies viam universe Carnis ingressum fuisse " (fliarZ. 
MS., 3776). See also Appendix M. 

• '* Yerum tantarum tamque immanium persecutionum, tam crudelium 
quoque, quas in omnes ingerebat, calamitatum juttissimus tandem respecter 
Deus dignum malitiae suae finem imposuit" (Gesta, p. 106). 

'' Quia igitur improbi dixerunt Deum dormitare, excitatus est Deus, et 
in hoc signo, et in significato " (Hen. Hunt., p. 277). 

* " Letiferum sui capitis vulnus deridens nee sic a suo cessavit furore " 
(Gervase, i. 128, 129). 


before, it is doubtful if any one but the pope could absolve 
so great a sinner.^ 

In the mean time the Abbot of Eamsey heard the start- 
ling news, and saw that his chance had come. The earl 
might be willing to save his soul at the cost of restoring 
the abbey. To Mildenhall he flew in all haste, but only 
to find that the earl had already lost consciousness. There 
awaited him, however, the fruit of his oppressor's tardy 
repentance in the form of instructions from the earl to 
his son to surrender Eamsey Abbey. Armed with these, 
the abbot departed as speedily as he had come.^ 

The tragic end of the great earl must have filled the 
thoughts of men with a strange awe and horror. That 
one who had rivalled, but a year ago, the king himself in 
power, should meet an inglorious death at the hands of a 
wretched churl, that he who had defied the thunders of the 
Church should fall as if by a bolt from heaven, were facts 
which, in the highly wrought state of the minds of men at 
the time, were indeed signs and wonders.^ But even more 
tragic than his death was the fate which awaited his 
corpse. Unshriven, he had passed away laden with the 
curses of the Church. His soul was lost for ever ; and his 
body no man might bury.* As the earl was drawing his 

* *' Pcenitens itaque valde et Deo cum magna cordis contritione pro 
peccatis suis supplicans, quantum taliter moriens poterat, Deo et homi- 
nibus satisfecit, licet a praesentibus absolvi non poterat" (Mow. Ang.^ iv. 
142). Of. p. 202, m'pra. 

* " Quum igitur apud Mildehale mortis angustia premeretur, hoc audiens 
prsefatus abbas ad eum citissime convolavit. Quo cum venisset, nee erat in 
ipso comite vox neque sensus, familiares tamen ipsius, domino suo multum 
condolentes, eum benigne receperunt et cum Uteris ipsius comitis eum ad 
filium suum scilicet Ernaldum de Magna Villa . . . statim miserunt ut sine 
mora ccenobium suum sibi restitueret " (Chron. Bam., p. 332). 

' "Gaufridus de Magna Villa regem validissirae vexavit et in omnibus 
gloriosus efifulsit. Mense autem Augusti miraculum justitia sua dignum Dei 
splendor exhibuit" (Hen. Hunt, p. 277). 

* " Et sicut, dum viveret, ecclesiam confudit, terram turbavit, sic, ad 
eum confundendum tota Anglise conspiravit ecclesia ; quia et anathematis 


last breath there came upon the scene some Knights 
Templar, who flung over him the garb of their order so 
that he might at least die with the red cross upon his 
breast.-^ Then, proud in the privileges of their order, they 
carried the remains to London, to their *' Old Temple " in 
Holborn. There the earl's corpse was enclosed in a leaden 
coffin, which was hung, say some, on a gnarled fruit tree, 
that it might not contaminate the earth, or was hurled, 
according to others, into a pit without the churchyard.^ 
So it remained, for nearly twenty years, exposed to the 
gibes of the Londoners, the earl's ** deadly foes." But 
with the characteristic faithfulness of a monastic house 
to its founder, the monks of Walden clung to the hope 
that the ban of the Church might yet be removed, and the 
bones of the great earl be suffered to rest among them. 
According to their chronicle. Prior William, who had 
obtained his post from Geoffrey's hands, rested not till 
he had wrung his absolution from Pope Alexander IIL^ 
(1159-1181). But the Ramsey Chronicle^ which appears 
to be a virtually contemporary record, assigns the eventual 

gladio percussTis et inabsolutus abscessit, et terrae sacrilegum dari non licuit" 
{Gesta, p. 106). 

^ "Illo autem, in discrimine mortis, ultimum trahente spiritum, quidaiu 
super venere Templarii qui religionis suse habitum cruce rubea signal um ei 
imposTierunt " (Mon. Aug., ut supra). But the red cross is said not to have been 
assumed by the order till the time of Pope Eugene (1145). See Monasticon 
Aug., ii. 815, 816. 

^ "Ac deinde jam mortuum secum tollentes, et in pomerio suo, veteris 
scilicet Templi apud London* canali inclusum plumbeo in arbore torva suspen- 
derunt " (Mon. Ang., iv. 142). 

"Corpus vero defuncti comitis in trunco quodam signatum, et propter 
anathema quo fuerat innodatus Londoniis apud Vetus Templum extra 
cimiterium in antro quodam projectum est " (Chron. Bam., p. 332). This 
would seem to be the earliest mention of the Old Temple. Pomerium in Low 
Latin is, of course, an orchard, and not, as Mr. Freeman so strangely 
imagines (at Nottingham, in Domesday), a town wall. 

' " Post aliquod vero tempus industria et expensis Willelmi quern jam 
pridem in Waldena constituerat priorem, a papa Alexandre, more taliter 
decedentium meruit absolvi, inter Christianos recipi, et pro eo divina cele- 
brari " {Mon. Ang.y iv. 142). 


removal of the ban to Geoffrey's son and namesake, and 
to the atonement which he made to Kamsey Abbey on his 
father's behalf.^ The latter story is most precise, but 
both may well be true. For, although the Kamsey 
chronicler would more especially insist on the fact that 
St. Benedict had to be appeased before the earl could be 
absolved, the absolution itself would be given not by the 
abbot, but by the pope. The grant to Kamsey would be 
merely a condition of the absolution itself being granted. 
The nature of the grant is known to us not only from the 
chronicle, but also from the primate's charter confirming 
this final settlement.^ As this confirmation is dated at 
Windsor, April 6, 1163, we thus, roughly, obtain the date 
of the earl's Christian burial.^ 

^ "Ibique jacuit toto tempore Regis Stephani magnaque parte Regis 
Henrici Secundi, donee Gaufridus filius ejus, Comes Essexie, vir industrius 
et justitiarius Domini Regis jam factus Dominum Willelmum abbatem csepit 
humiliter interpellare pro patre suo defuncto oflferens satisfactionem, et quum 
ab eo benignum super hoc responsum accepisset, statuta die convenerunt 
ambo sub praesentia domini Cantuarensis, scilicet beati Thomse martyris, super 
hoc tractaturi. . . . Quo facto, pater ipsius comitis Christianse traditus est 

The earl's grant runs as follows : — 

"Gaufridus de Magna Villa Comes Essexie, omnibus amicis suis et 
hominibus et universis sanctse Ecclesise filiis salutem. 

" Satis notum est quanta damna pater mens. Comes Gaufridus, tempore 
guerrarum monasterio de Rameseia irrogaverit. 

•' Et quia tanta noxia publico dinoscitur indigere remedio, ego tarn pro eo 
quam pro suis satisfacere volens, consilio sanctae Ecclesise cum Willelmo 
Abbate monachisque suprascripti ccenobii in hanc formam composui. . . . 
Et quia constat sepedictum patrem meum in irrogatione damnorum memoratae 
ecclesise bona thesauri in cappis, et textis, et hujusmodi plurimum delapidasse, 
ad eorundem reparationem ad ecclesise ornatum dignum duxi redditum istum 
assignari" {Cart. Bam., i. 197). Compare p. 276, n. 3, and p. 415. 

^ Chron. Earn., pp. 306, 333. The king was probably at Windsor at the 
time, and the date is a useful one for Becket's movements. 

' A curious archaeological question is raised by this date. According 
to the received belief, the Templars did not remove to the New Temple till 
1185, but, according to this evidence, they already had their churchyard there 
consecrated in 1163, and had therefore, we may presume, begun their church. 
The church of the New Temple was consecrated by Heraclius on his visit iu 
1185, but may have been finished sooner. 



The Prior of Walden had gained his end, and he now 
hastened to the Temple to claim his patron's remains. 
But his hopes were cruelly frustrated at the very moment 
of success. Just as the body of the then earl (1163) was 
destined to be coveted at his death (1166) by two rival 
houses, so now the remains of his father were a prize 
which the indignant would never thus surrender. 
Warned of the prior's coming, they instantly seized the 
coffin, and buried it at once in their new graveyard, where, 
around the nameless resting-place of the great champion 
of anarchy, there was destined to rise, in later days, the 
home of English law.^ 

* " Cum que Prior ille corpus defunctum deponere et secum Waldenam 
deferre satageret, Templarii illi caute premeditati statim illud tollentes, et in 
cimiterio novi templi ignobili satis tradiderunt sepultursB " {Mon. Ang.^'w. 
142). It was generally believed that his effigy was among those remaining 
at the Temple, but this supposition is erroneous, as has been shown by Mr. 
J. G. Nichols in an elaborate article on " The Effigy attributed to Geoffrey 
de IMagnaville, and the Other Effigies in the Temple Church " {Herald and 
Genealogist [1866], iii. 97, et seq.). 

( 227 ) 



The death of Geoffrey was a fatal blow to the power of 
the fenland rebels. According, indeed, to one authority, 
his brother-in-law, William de Say, met his death on the 
same occasion,^ but it was the decease of the great earl 
which filled the king's supporters with exultant joy and 
hope.^ For a time Ernulf, his son and heir, clung to the 
abbey fortress, but at length, sorely against his will, he 
gave up possession to the monks.^ Before the year was 
out, he was himself made prisoner and straightway 
banished from the realm.* Nor was the vengeance of 
Heaven even yet complete. The chief officer of the 
wicked earl was thrown from his horse and killed,^ and 

* " Willelmi de Say et Galfridi de Mandeville, qui apud Borewelle inter- 
fecti fuerunt " (Chron. Ram., App. p. 347). 

* " Isto itaque tali modo ad extrema deducto, nox qusedam et horror omnes 
regis adversaries implevit, quique ex dissensione a Galfrido exorta regis 
annisum maxime infirmari putabant, nunc^ eo interfecto, liberiorem et ad se 
perturbandura, ut res se habebat, expediorem fore sestimabant " {Gesta^ p. 104). 
*' Sicque Dei judicio patriae vastatore sublato, virtus bellatorum qui secum 
manum ad peruiciem miserorum firmaverunt plurimum labe facta est, cog- 
noscentes Dominum Christum fideli suo Eegi de hostibus dare triumphum, 
et adversantes ei potenter elidere, ad hoc expavit cor inimicorum illius" 
(Historia Eliensis, p. 628). 

' " Quod post dilationes, non sine difficultate, tandem invitus fecit ; locum 
enim ilium et vicinas ejus partes multum dilexerat. Prophani milites 
recedunt cum iniquo satellite" (Cliron. Bam., p. 332). 

* " Eodem quoque anno, Ernulfus filius comitis, qui post mortem patris 
ecclesiam incastellatam retinebat, captus est et in exilium fugatus " (Ger- 
vase, i. 129. Cf. Hen. Hunt.). 

' " Cujus princeps militum ab equo corruens eflfuso cerebro spiritum ex- 
halavit " (ibid.). 


the captain of his foot, ^ho had made himself conspicuous 
in the violating and burning of churches, met, as he fled 
beyond the sea, with the fate of Jonah, and worse. ^ 

Chroniclers and genealogists have found it easiest 
to ignore the subsequent fate of Ernulf (or Ernald) de 
Mandeville.^ He has even been conveniently disposed 
of by the statement that he died childless.^ It may there- 
fore fairly be described as a genealogical surprise to 
establish the fact, beyond a shadow of doubt, not only 
that he left issue, but that his descendants flourished for 
generations, heirs in the direct male line of this once 
mighty house. Ernulf himself first reappears, early in 
the following reign, as a witness to a royal charter con- 
firming Ernald de Bosco's foundation at Betlesdene.'* 
He also occm's as a principal witness in a family 
charter, about the same time.^ This document,^ which 
is addi-essed by Earl Geoffrey ''baronibus suis," is a 
confirmation of a grant of lands in Sawbridgeworth, by 

^ " Magister autem peditum suorum, qui plus caeteris solitus erat ecclesias 
concremare et frangere, dum mare transiret cum uxore sua, ut multi perhi- 
buerant, navis immobilis facta est. Quod monstrum nautis stupentibus et 
sorte data rei causam inquirentibus, sors cecidit super eum. Quod cum ille 
totis viribus, nee mirum, contradiceret, secundo et tertio sors jacta in eum 
deveuit : formidantibns igitur nautis positus est in cymbam parvulam ipse 
et uxor ejus et eorum pecunia nequiter adquisita, ut cum illis esset in perdi- 
tione ; quo facto, navis ut prius maria libera sulcavit, cymba vero in voragine 
subsistens circumducta et absorpta est" {Hen. Hunt.). 

2 There is abundant evidence that the two names are used indififerently. 

^ Burke's Extinct Peerage. So also Dr. Stubbs. 

* Harl. Cart, 84. C. 4. The charter being attested by Thomas the 
Chancellor must be previous to August, 1158, as it passed at Westminster. 
It has a rather unusual set of witnesses. 

* This charter may fairly be dated 1157-1158, on the following grounds. 
It speaks of Warine fitz Gerold as the king's chamberlain, and as living. 
But he died in the summer of 1158. It is, however, subsequent to Henry's 
accession, because it was not till after that event that Fitz Gerold was enfeoffed 
in Sawbridgeworth (X26er Kiger),2iTid also subsequent to 1155, because Geoffrey 
occurs as earl. But as Maurice (de Tiretei) was not sheriff, within these 
limits, till Michaelmas, 1157, we obtain the date 1157-1158. 

^ Shane Cart., xxxii. 64. * 


his tenant Warine fitz Gerold *' Camerarius Eegis " and 
his brother Henry, to Eobert Blund of London, who is 
to hold them **de predictis baronibus meis." The 
witnesses are : *' Koesia Com[itissa] matre mea, Eus- 
t[achia] Com[itissa], Ernulfo de Mannavilla fratre meo, 
Willelmo fiHo Otuwel patruo meo, Mauricio vicecomite, 
Willelmo de Moch' capellano meo, Otuwel de bouile, 
Ricardo filio Osberti, Radulfo de Bernires, Willelmo et 
Ranulfo fil' Ernaldi, Gaufrido de Gerp [en] villa, Hugone 
de Augo, Waltero de Mannavilla, Willelmo filio Alfredi, 
Gaufredo filio Walteri, Willelmo de Plaisiz, Gaufrido 
pincerna." He is, doubtless, also the "Ernald de Man- 
devill" who holds a knight's fee, in Yorkshire, of Eanulf 
fitz Walter in 1166.^ But in the earliest Pipe-Rolls of 
Henry II. he is already found as a grantee of terrse datas 
in Wilts., to the amount of £11 10s. Od, (blanch) **in 
Wurda." This grant was not among those repudiated 
by Henry II., and Geoffrey de Mandeville, Ernulf's heir, 
was still in receipt of the same sum in 1189^ and 1201-2.^ 
Later on, in a list of knights' fees in Wilts., which 
must belong, from the mention of Earl William de 
Longespee, to 1196 — 1226, and is probably circ. 1212, we 
read : " Galfridus de Mandevill tenet in Wurth duas partes 
unius militis de Eege." * That Ernulf should have received 
a grant in Wilts., a county with which his family was not 
connected, is probably accounted for by the fact that he 

» Liber Niger (ed. 1774), p. 326. The return of the Barony of Helion 
(p. 242), in which an Ernulf de Mandeville appears as holding half a knight's 
fee in Bumsted (Helion), is of later date. 

2 Bot. Pip., 1 Kic. I. The " Ernald de Magneville" who was among the 
Crusaders that reached Acre in June, 1191, may have been a younger son of 
the disinherited Ernald, if the latter was then dead. An Ernulf de Mande- 
ville is found among the witnesses to a star of Abraham fitz Muriel (1214), 
granting a house in Westcheap to Geofl'rey " de Mandeville," Earl of Essex 
and Gloucester. 

3 Rot. Pip., 3 John. * Testa, p. 142 h. 


obtained it in the time of the Empress, who, as in the case 
of Humfrey de Bohun, found the revenues of Wilts, con- 
venient as a means of rewarding her partisans.^ But 
we now come to a series of charters of the highest import- 
ance for this discovery. These were preserved among the 
muniments of Henry Beaufoe of Edmondescote, county 
Warwick, Esq., when they were seen by Dugdale, who 
does not, however, in his Baronage, allude to their 
evidence. By the first of these Earl Geoffrey (died 1166) 
grants to his brother Ernulf one knight's fee in Kingham, 
county Oxon. : — 

" Sciatis me dedisse et firmiter concessisse Ernulfo de Mandavilla 
fratri meo terram de Caingeham, . . . pro servitio unius militis in 
excambitione terre Eadulfi de Nuer. . . . Et si Caingeham illi garan- 
tizare non potero dabo illi excambium ad valorem de Caingeham 
antequam inde sit dissaisitus. . . . T. Com[ite] Albrico auunculo 
meo, Henry {sic) fil[io] Ger[o]di], Galfr[ido] Arsic, Kad[ulfjo de 
Berner[iis], Waltero de Mandavilla, Will[elm]o de Aino, Galfrido de 
Jarpeuill, Will[elmo] de Plais', Jurdan[o] deTaid' HugFone] de Auc[o], 
Willelm[o] fil[io] Alured[i] Rad[nlfo] Magn[?avilla], Audoenus {sic) 
Pincerna, Rad[ulfo] frater {sic) eius, Aluredus {sic) Predevilain." ^ 

Ralph " de Nuers," is entered in 1166 as a former holder 
of four fees from Earl Geoffrey (11.).^ Of the witnesses 
to the charter,* Henry fitz Gerold (probably the chamber- 
lain) held four fees {de novo) of the earl in 1166, Ralph 
de Berners four {de veteri), Walter de Mandeville four 
{de veteri), Geoffrey de Jarpe[n]ville one {de novo), Hugh de 
Ou and William fitz Alfred one each {de novo), *' Audoenus 
Pincerna " and Ralph his brother the fifth of a fee {de 
novo) jointly. The relative precedence, according to hold- 

^ See, for the exceptionally heavy alienations in this country (some £440 
a year), the Pipe-Eoll of 2 Henry n., p. 57. 
« Dugdale MS., 15 (H) fol. 129. 

' " Feod[iim] Rad[ulfi] de Nuers iiii. milites " {Liber Niger). 
* Compare them with the preceding charter of Earl Geoffrey. 


ing, is not unworthy of notice. The second charter is 

from Earl WilHam, confirming his brother's gift : — 

"Willelmus de Mandavilla comes Essexie Omnibus hominibus, 
etc. Sciatis me concessisse Ernulfode Mandauilla fratri meo doDa- 
tionem quam Comes Galfridus illi fecit de villa de Kahingeham. . . . 
T. Comite Albrico, Simone de Bellocampo, Gaufrido de Say, Wil- 
l[elm]o de Bouilla, Radu[lfo] de Berneres, Seawal' de Osonuillo, 
Eic[ard]o de Rochella, Osberto fi][io] Ric[ard]i, Dauid de Gerponuilla, 
Wiscardo Leidet, Waltero de Bareuilla, Albot Fulcino, Hugone 
clerico," etc.^ 

Here Earl '* Alberic " was uncle both to the grantor and 
the grantee ; Simon de Beauchamp was their uterine 
brother ; Geoffrey de Say their first cousin. William de 
Boville would be related to Otuel de Boville, the chief 
tenant of Mandeville in 1166.^ ** Sewalus de Osevill " 
then (1166) held four fees {de veteri) of the earl. Eichard 
**de Eochella " held three-quarters of a fee {de novo), 
Osbert fitz Kichard was probably a son of Eichard fitz 
Osbert, who held four fees {de veteri) in 1166. Wiscard 
Ledet was a tenant in capite in Oxfordshire {Testa, p. 103).^ 

The third charter transfers the fee from the grantee 
himself to his son : — 

"Notum sit . . . quod ego Arnulfus de Mandeuilla concessi et dtdi 
Eadulfo de Mandeuilla filio meo pro suo servicio et homagio villam de 

* Dugdale MS., ut supra. 

' "William's succession to Otwel suggests that they were somehow related 
to William fitz Otuel (p. 169). 

' With this charter of Earl William may be compared another {Cart. 
Cott., X. 1), in which he confirms to Westminster Abbey the church of 
Sawbridgeworth. The witnesses are *' Willielmo de Ver, Asculfo Capellario, 
Ricardo de Vercorol, Willelmo de Lisoris, David de Jarpouilla, Symone 
fratre eius, Osberto filio Ricardi, Osberto de sancto Claro, Willelmo de Nor- 
hala, Johanne de Rochella, Eustachio Camerario, Rogero et Simone clericis 
Abbatis West'." Tlie second and third witnesses are also found attesting 
the earl's charter to the nuns of Greenfield (see p. 169). Compare further 
" A charter of William, Earl of Essex " {Eng. Hist. Review, April, 1891). 
" Asculfus (or Hasculfus) Capellanus " was the hero of the adventure, on 
the earl's death, thus related by Dugdale: "A chaplain of the earl's, called 
Hasculf, took out his best saddle-horse in the night, and rode to Chicksand, 
where the Countess Rohese then resided," etc., etc. 


Chaingeham . . . et hospitium meum Oxenfordie ad prsedictam yillam 
pertinens ^ . . . T. Henrico Banners/' etc.^ 

From another quarter we are enabled to continue the 
chain of evidence. We have first a charter to Osney : — 

" Ego Ganfridus de Mandeuile . • • confirmavi mercatam terre 
qnam Aaliz mater mea eis diuisit in Hngato, sic[?ut] Ernnlfns de 
Mandeuile pater mens eis assignavit." ^ 

Then we have a charter which thus carries us a step 
further : — 

" Ego Galfridus de Mandenilla fllius Galfridi de Mandenilla con- 
cessi Domino Galfrido patri meo, filioArnulfi de Mandenilla," etc., etc.* 

Among the witnesses to this last charter are Kobert 
de Mandeville, and Ralph his brother, and Hugh de 
Mandeville. Lastly, we have a charter of Ralph de Man- 
deville, to which the first witness is *' Galfridus de Man- 
dauilla frater meus."^ 

We have now established this pedigree : — 

Geoffrey, = Roese 

Earl of Essex, 
d. 1144. 

de Vere. 

Ernulf = Aaliz. 

de Mandeville, 
son and heir 

Geoffrey Ealph 

de Mandeville. de Mandeville. 


de Mandeville. 

A further charter {Harl. Cart., 54, I. 44) can now be 
fitted into this pedigree. It is a notification by Adam de 

^ This is a good instance of the custom, so constantly met with in Domes- 
day, by which a house in a county town was attached to a manor. 

2 Dugdale MS., id supra. ^ Dodsworth MS., vii. fol. 299. 

* Ibid. ' Ibid., XXX. fol. 104. 


Port, to the Bishop of Lincoln, etc., of his grant of the 
church of ''Hattele." The witnesses are : '* Hernaldo de 
Mandeville et domina Alicia uxore sua, domina Matiltide 
uxore dicti Adas de Port, Henrico de Port, fratre ejusdem, 
Galfrido de Mandeville," etc.^ Here we have a clue to 
the parentage of Ernulf s wife. 

Passing to the reign of Henry HI., we find Kingham 
then still in possession of the family.^ In Wiltshire they 
are found yet later. Worth being still held by them in 
1292-93 (21 Edw. I).^ 

The importance of the existence of Ernulf and his 
heirs is seen when we come to deal with the fate of the 
earldom of Essex. That Ernulf was *' exiled" even for 
a time becomes a remarkable fact, when we remember that 
he might have found shelter from the king among the 
followers of the Empress in the west. But he and his 
father had offended a power greater than the king. The 
Empress could not shield him from the vengeance of 
the outraged Church. It is, I think, in his doings at 
Kamsey, and in the penalties he had thus incurred, that 
we must seek the reason of his being, as we shall find, 
so strangely passed over, in favour of his younger brother 
Geoffrey, who had not partaken of his guilt. 

To another charter, hitherto unknown, we owe our 
knowledge of the fact that Geoffrey was recognized as his 
father's heir, by the Empress, on his death. Instructive 
as its contents would doubtless be, it is known to us only 
from the following note, made by one who had inspected 
its transcript in the lost volume of the Great Coucher : — 

" Carta M. Imperatricis per quam dat Gaufredo de Mannevill filio 

^ " Alano de Matem " is among them (cf. p. 89). 

2 " Willelmus de Mandevill tenet in Kaingham feodum unius militis de 
feod[o] Comitis Hereford[ie] " (Testa, pp. 102 a, 106 a). 

3 Lansdowne MS., 865, fol. 118 dors. ; Earl. MS., 154, fol. 45. 


Gaufredi Comitis Essexie totam hereditatem snam et omnes tenuras 
quas concessit patri suo. Testes E. Com. Gloec, Eag. Com. Cornub., 
Eog. Com. Hereford, E. Eegis filio, Umfridus de Bohun Dap., Johannes 
filius Gisleberti, W. de Pontlarch' Camerario. Apud Divisas.^ 

The names of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, and Roger, 
Earl of Hereford, limit the date of this charter to 1144- 
1147, and the father of the grantee died, as we have seen, 
in August, 1144. It should be noted that nothing is said 
here of the earldom of Essex, and that only an abso- 
lutely new creation could confer the dignity on Geoffrey, 
as he was not his father's heir. 

Here, however, yet another charter, also at present 
unknown, comes to our assistance with its unique evidence 
that Geoffrey must have held his father's title before 1147.^ 
He then disappears from view for the time. 

We must now skip some twelve years, and pass to that 
most important charter in which the earldom was con- 
ferred anew on Geoffrey by Henry 11. Only those who 
have made a special study of these subjects can realize 
the value of this charter, a record hitherto unknown. The 
attitude of Henry H. to the creations of Stephen and 
Matilda, the extent to which he recognized them, and the 
method in which he did so, are subjects on which the 
historian is peculiarly anxious for information, but on 
which our existing evidence is singularly and lamentably 
slight. Of the four charters quoted in the Reports on the 
Dignity of a Peer^ only two can be said to have a real 
bearing on the question, and of these one is of uncertain 
date, while the meaning of the other is doubtful. But the 
charter I am about to deal with is remarkably clear in 

* Lansdowne MS., 229, fol. 123 b. This note is followed by one of the 
charter by which the Empress confirmed Humfrey de Bohun in his post of 
Dapifer, and of which the original is still extant among the Duchy of 
Lancaster Royal Charters (Pipe-Roll Society : Ancient Charters, p. 45). 

' See Appendix BB. 


its meaning, and possesses the advantage that its contents 
enable us to date it with precision. 

The original charter was formerly preserved in the 
Cottonian collection, but was doubtless among those which 
perished in the disastrous fire.^ The copy of it made by 
Dugdale, and now among his MSS. at Oxford, is unfortu- 
nately imperfect, but the discovery of an independent copy 
among the Kawlinson MSS. has enabled me not only to 
fill the gaps in Dugdale's copy (which I have here placed 
within brackets), but also to establish by collation the 
accuracy of the text. 

Charter of Henry II. to Geoffrey de Mandeville 
THE Younger (Jan. 1156). 

H. Eex Angl[orum] (et) Dux Normannie et Aquitanie et 
Comes Andegavie Archiepiscopis Episcopis Abbatibus 
Comitibus Justiciariis Baronibus Vicecomitibus ministris 
et omnibus fidelibus suis Francis et Anglis Anglie et 
Normannie salutem. Sciatis me fecisse Gaufridum de 
Magna Villa Comitem de Essexa et dedisse et hereditarie 
concessisse sibi et heredibus suis ad tenendum de me et 
heredibus meis Tertium Denarium de placitis meis ejus- 
dem Comitatus. Et volo et concedo et firmiter precipio quod 
ipse Comes et heredes sui ^ post eum [habeant] et teneant 
comitatum suum ita bene et in pace et libere et quiete et 
plene et honorifice sicut aliquis Comes in Anglia vel Nor- 
mannia melius, liberius, quietius, plenius, et honorificentius 
tenet Comitatum suum. Prseterea reddidi ei et concessi 
totam terram Gaufridi de MagnaVilla proavi sui, et avi 
sui, et patris sui, et omnia tenementa illorum, tam in 
dominiis quam in feodis militum, tam in Anglia quam in 

' It was, I believe, duly entered in the lost volume of the Great Coucher. 
2 "Sui" omitted in Rawlinson MS. 


Normannia, que de me tenet in capite, et de quocunque 
teneat et de cujuscunque feodo sint, et nominatim Wale- 
denam et Sabrichteswordam ^ et Walteham. Et vadium 
quod Rex Henricus avus mens habuit super predicta tria 
maneria sua imperpetuum ei clamavi quietum sibi et here- 
dibus suis de me et de meis heredibus. Quare volo (et fir- 
miter precipio) quod ipse et heredes sui habeant et teneant 
(de me et de meis heredibus) comitatum suum predictum 
ita libere (et quiete et plene) sicut aliquis Comes in Anglia 
(vel Normannia) melius, (liberius quietius et plenius comi- 
tatum suum) tenet. Et habeant et teneant ipse et heredes 
sui omnia predicta tenementa antecessorum suorum pre- 
dictorum et nominatim predicta tria maneria ita bene (et 
in pace et libere et quiete et honorifice et plene, in bosco et 
piano et pratis et pascuis in Aquis et molendinis in viis 
et semitis in forestis et warrennis in rivariis et piscariis 
infra Burgum et extra et in omnibus locis et nominatim 
infra Civitatem London[ie], cum Soco et Saca et Toll et 
Team et Infangtheof et cum omnibus Libertatibus et liberis 
consuetudinibus et quietanciis suis) sicut Gaufridus de 
MagnaVilla proavus suus et avus suus et pater suus 
unquam melius, (liberius, quietius, et honorificentius et 
plenius) tenuerunt, tempore Regis Willelmi et Regis Hen- 
rici avi mei. Testibus T[heobaldo] Archiepiscopo Cantuar' 
(Rog[er]o Archiep[iscop]o Eborac' Ric[ardo] Ep[iscop]o 
London', Rob[erto] Ep[iscop]o Lincoln', Nigello Ep[iscop]o 
Eliensi, Tom[a] Canc[ellario],Rag[inaldo] Com[ite] Cornub', 
R[oberto] Com[ite] Legrec', Rog[ero] Com[ite] de Clara, 
H[enrico] de Essex Conesta[bulo], Ric[ardo] de Hum[ez] 
Conest[abulo], Ric[ardo] de Lucy, War[ino] fil[io] Ger[oldi] 
Cam[er]ario, Man[assero] Bisset dap[ifero], Rob[er]to de 
Dunest[anvilla] et Jos[celino] de Baillolio) Apud Cantu- 

^ " Dabrichteswordam " (Rawlinson). 


The first point to be considered is that of the date. It 
is obvious at once from the names of the primate and the 
chancellor that the charter must be previous to the king's 
departure from England in 1158. But the only occasion 
within this limit on which the charter can have passed is 
that of the king's visit to Canterbury on his way to Dover 
and the Continent in January, 1156 (115 J). On no other 
occasion within this limit did he land at or depart from 
Dover. Now, it is quite certain that the charter to Earl 
Aubrey (de Vere), which is tested '* Apud Dover in transitu 
Eegis," passed at the time of this departure from Dover 
(January 10, 1156).^ We find, then, that as in 1142 the 
charters to Earl Geoffrey and Earl Aubrey were part of 
one transaction and passed on the same occasion, so now, 
the charters to Earl Geoffrey the second and Earl Aubrey, 
his uncle, passed almost on the same day. The long list 
of witnesses to the former, for which we are indebted to 
the Eawlinson MS., enables us to compare it closely with 
those of the four other charters which passed, according 
to Mr. Eyton, about the same time.^ The proportions of 
their witnesses found among the witnesses to this charter 
are respectively : seven out of ten in the first ; nine out 
of eighteen in the second ; the whole ten in the third ; and 
seven out of fourteen in the fourth. As the king had 
spent his Christmas at Westminster, we can thus fix the 
date almost to a day, viz. circ. January 2, 1156. And 
this harmonizes well enough with the evidence of the 
Pipe-KoUs, which show that Earl Geoffrey was in receipt 
of the tertius denarius in 1157, as from Michaelmas, 1155. 

On looking at the terms of this instrument, we are 

» B. Diceto, p. 531. 

2 (1) To the church of St. Jean d'Angely (Canterbury); (2) to Christ- 
church, Canterbury (Dover) ; (3) to St. Mary's Abbey, Leicester (Dover) ; 
(4) to Earl Aubrey (Dover) (Court and Itinerary of Henry II., pp. 15, 16). 



struck at once by the fact that it is a charter of actual 
creation. This is in perfect accordance with the view 
advanced above, namely, that the charter granted at 
Devizes to this Geoffrey, as his father's son, has no bear- 
ing on the earldom of Essex, ''and that only an abso- 
lutely new creation could confer the earldom on Geoffrey, 
as he was not his father's heir." It is thus that the exist- 
ence of his brother Ernulf became a factor in the problem 
of no small consequence.^ 

Being thus an undoubted new creation, its terms 
should be examined most carefully. It will then be found 
that the precedent they follow is not the charter of the 
Empress (1141), but the original charter of the king 


Sciatis me fecisse 
Comitem de Gaufrido 
de Magnauilla de 
Comitatu Essexe he- 


Sciatis omnes . . . 
quod ego . . . do et 
concedo Gaufrido de 
Magnavilla . . . ut 
sit Gomes de Essexa. 


Sciatis me fecisse 
Gaufridum de Mag- 
nauilla Comitem de 

The explanation is, of course, that the first and third 
are new creations, while the second is virtually but a 
confirmation of the pre\dous creation by Stephen. So 
again, comparing this creation with that of Hugh Bigod, 
the only instance in point — 


Sciatis me fecisse Hugonem 
Bigot Comitem de Norfolca, 


Sciatis me fecisse Gaufridum 
de Manda villa Comitem de Essexa, 

^ It is true that the charter to Geoffrey Ridel (Appendix BB) proves that 
Geoffrey de Mandeville the younger enjoyed, at the court of the Empress, the 
title of Earl of Essex. But the same charter proves that Henry did not hold 
himself bound by his mother's charters or deeds. 


scilicet de tercio denario de Nord- et dedisse et hereditarie conces- 
wic et de Norfolca. sisse sibi et heredibus suis. . . . 

Tertiura denarium de placitis 
meis ejusdem Comitatus. 

Here the absolute identity of the actual formula of creation 
accentuates the difference between the clauses relating to 
the *' Tertius Denarius." It will therefore be desirable 
to compare the clauses as they stand in the Mandeville 
and the Vere charters (January, 1156) : — 

Mandeville. Vebb 

Sciatis me . . . dedisse et Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse 

hereditarie concessisse sibi et Comiti Alberico in feodo et here- 

heredibus suis ad tenendum de ditate tertium denarium de placi- 

me et heredibus meis tertium tis Oxenfordscyre ut sit inde 

denarium de placitis meis ej usdem Comes. 

It is said with truth in the Lords' Eeports that *'inde" 
is an ambiguous word, as it might refer either to the 
county or to the '* third penny " itself. And, indeed, the 
above extract from the charter to Hugh Bigod would lend 
support to the latter view. But the case of Earl Aubrey 
was, we must remember, peculiar. As we saw in the 
charter of the empress (1142), she recognized him as 
already a *' comes" in virtue of his rank as Count of 
Guisnes (p. 188). It is my belief that in the present 
charter he is styled ** comes "by Henry on precisely the 
same ground. For if Henry had recognized him as Earl 
of Oxford in virtue of his mother's charter (1142), he must 
also have recognized his right to ** the third penny " of 
the shire which was granted by that same charter.^ But 
he clearly did not recognize that right, for he here makes 
a fresh grant. Therefore he did not recognize the validity 

• " Do et concedo quod sit Comes de , . . et habeat inde tertium denarium 
sicut comes debet habere." 


of his mother's charter. Consequently, he styled Aubrey 
'* comes " in virtue only of the comital rank he enjoyed 
as Count of Guisnes. And as he could not inake a 
^' comes " of a man who was a '' comes " already (p. 187), 
he merely grants him ''the third penny of the pleas " of 
Oxfordshire, '' that he may be earl of that county " (*' ut 
sit inde Comes"). Hence the anomalous form in which 
the charter is drawn. ^ 

Different, again, yet no less instructive, is the case of 
the Earl of Sussex. There the grant runs — 

" Sciatis me dedisse Willelmo Comiti Arundel castellum de Arundel 
cum toto honore Arundel . . . et tercium denarium de placitis de 
Suthsex unde comes est." 

This charter has been looked upon as relating to the 
earldom itself, whereas it is clearly nothing but a grant 
of the castle and honour of Arundel and of the ** Tertius 
Denarius " of Sussex, " of which county he is earl." ^ 
When these two phrases are compared — ''ut sit inde 
Comes " and *' unde Comes est " — their meaning is, surely, 
clear. William was already Earl of Sussex {alias Arundel 
alias Chichester), but his right to the '' Tertius Denarius " 
of the county was not recognized by the king. The fact 
that this right required to be granted nominatim confirms 
my view that it was not conveyed by Stephen's charter to 

The distinction between the ** dedi et concessi " of the 
'* Tertius Denarius " clause and the *' reddidi" and "con- 
cessi " of those by which the king confirms to Geoffrey 
his ancestral estates is one always to be noted. The 

^ It is one of the mysteries of the Pipe-Eolls that no such payment to 
the earl is to be traced on them, though the grant is quite unmistakable in 
its terms. See Appendix H. 

2 The " unde " of this charter answers to the " inde " in the charters to 
Earl Aubrey. ^ ggg Appendix H. 


terms of what one may call this general confirmation are 
remarkably comprehensive, going back as they do to the 
days of King William and of the grantee's great-grand- 
father ; and the profusion of legal verbiage in which they 
are enwrapped is worthy of later times. The charter also 
illustrates the adaptation in Latin of the old Anglo-Saxon 
formiilse, themselves the relics of those quaint jingles which 
must bear witness to oral transmission in an archaic state 
of society.-^ 

The release of the lien (upon three manors) which 
Henry I. had held is a very curious feature. One of these 
manors, Sawbridgeworth in Herts., is surveyed in Domes- 
day at great length. Its value had then sunk from £60 
to £50; but early in the reign of Henry II., Earl Geoffrey 
gave it in fee to Warine fitz Gerold, the chamberlain, *' per 
{sic) Lxxiiii libratas terrse, singulas xx libratas pro servitio 
unius militis."^ 

Under this charter Earl Geoffrey held the dignity till 

* See, for instance, survivals of them in the charters of Henry I. to 
Christchurch, Canterbury, and of Henry II, to Oxford. The former runs, 
" on strande and on stream, on wudan and on feldan " (Campbell Charter, 
xxix. 5) ; the latter, " by water and by stronde, by Gode (sic) and by londe " 
(Hearne's Liber Niger, Appendix). 

The formula " cum omnibus ad hoc rebus rite pertinentibus, sive litorum, 
sive camporum, agrorum, saltuumve " (Kemble, Cod. Dipl., No. 425 ; Earle, 
Land Charters, p. 186), suggested to Prof. Maitland (Select Pleas in Manorial 
Courts') a connection with the "leet" through the "litus" of early Teutonic 
law, but Mr. W. H. Stevenson, correcting him, observed (Academy, June 29, 
1 889) that litorum referred to the seashore at Reculver (with which this grant 
deals). Both these distinguished scholars are mistaken, for the words only 
render the general formula: "by lande and by strande (' litorum '), by wode 
and by felde." So for instance — 

" bi water and bi lande 
mid inlade and mid utlade 
wit inne burghe and wit outen 
bi lande and by strande 
bi wode and by felde " (Ramsey Cart, ii. 80, 81), 

Thus we have " in bosco et piano . . . infra burgum et extra " (supra, p. 236). 
See also pp. 286, 314, 381. 2 nj^^^ Niger (1774), i. 239. 




his death, at which time we find him lord of more than 
a hundred and fifty knights' fees. The earldom then 
(1166) passed to his younger brother William, and did so, 
as far as we know, without a fresh creation. For the 
limitation, it is important to observe, in this as in other 
early creations, is not restricted to heirs of the body — 
a much later addition. As this point is of considerable 
importance it may be as well here to compare the essential 
words of inheritance in the three successive charters : — 


Sciatis me fecisse 
Comitem de Gaufrido 
de Magnavilla de Co- 
mitatu Essexe Aere- 
ditarie. Quare volo 
. . . quod ipse et here- 
des sui post eum here- 
ditario jure teneant 
de me et de heredibus 
meis . . . siciit alii 
Comites mei de terra 
mea, etc. 


Sciatis . . . quod 
ego do et concedo 
Gaufrido de Magna- 
villa . . . et heredibus 
suis post eum heredita- 
liliter ut sit Comes de 

Henry II. 

Sciatis me fecisse 
Gaufridum de Magna 
Villa Comitem de Es- 
sexa. . . . Et volo . . . 
quod ipse Comes et 
heredes sui post eum 
habeant et teneant 
Comitatum suum . . . 
sicut aliquis Comes in 
Anglia, etc. 

It is noteworthy that the earliest of these three — the 
earliest of all our creation-charters — has the most 
intensely hereditary ring, a fact at variance with the 
favourite doctrine that the hereditary principle was a late 
innovation, and ousted but slowly the official position. It 
is further to be observed that the term *' Comitatus," of 
which the denotation in Scottish charters has been so long 
and fiercely debated, has here the abstract signification 
which it possesses in our own day, namely, that of the 
dignity of an earl. 

When we think of their father's stormy career, it is 
not a little strange to find these two successive Earls of 


Essex high in favour with the order-loving king, throughout 
whose reign, for more than thirty years (1156-1189), we 
find them honoured and trusted in his councils, in his 
courts, and in his host. Of Earl William Miss Norgate 
writes : " The son was as loyal as his father was faithless ; 
he seems, indeed, to have been a close personal friend of 
the king, and to have well deserved his friendship." ^ His 
fidelity was rewarded by the hand of the heiress of the 
house of Aumale, so that, already an earl in England, he 
thus became, also, a count beyond the sea. 

Yet well might men believe that the awful curse of 
Heaven rested on this great and able house. At the very 
moment when Earl William seemed to have attained the 
pinnacle of power, when he had reached the point which 
his father had reached some half a century before, then, 
as in his father's case, the prize was snatched from his 
grasp. King Eichard, rightly prizing the earl's loyalty 
and worth, announced his intention, at the Council of 
Pipewell (September, 1189), of leaving him, with the 
Bishop of Durham as his assessor, in charge of the king- 
dom, as Justiciar, during his own absence in the East. 
Such an office would have made the earl the foremost lay- 
man in the realm. But before the time had come for 
entering on his exalted duties, indeed within a few weeks 
of his appointment, he was dead (November 14, 1189). 

Like his brother Geoffrey before him, the earl died 
childless ; the vast estates of the house of Mandeville 
passed to the descendants of his aunt; to his earldom 
there was no heir.^ Such was the end that awaited the 

^ Angevin Kings, ii. 144. 

' The inheritance was in dispute for some time between his aunt's 
younger son and the two daughters and co-heirs of her elder son deceased. 
As the latter were eventually successful in their claim, there was no one 
heir to whom the earldom could pass, as of right, under the charter of 1156 
(accepting it as representing a limitation to heirs whatsoever). I have. 


ambition of Geoffrey de Mandeville. The earldom for 
which he had schemed and striven, the strongholds on 
which his power was based, the broad lands which owned 
his sway — all were lost to his house. And as if by the 
very irony of fate, Ernulf, his disinherited son, alone 
continued the race, that there might not be wanting in 
his hapless heirs an ever- standing monument to the great- 
ness at once of the guilt and of the fall of the man whose 
story I have told. 

however, elsewhere suggested (Pipe-Eoll Society : Ancient Charters^ p. 99) 
that the salvo to the elder of the two daughters of her antenatio may have 
beeu connected with a claim to the dignity by her husband, in her right. 



Stephen's treaty with the Londoners. 

(See p. 3.) 

There are few more suggestive passages in the chronicles of 
Stephen's reign than that which describes, in the Gesta, his 
"pactio" with the citizens of London. This, because of the 
striking resemblance between the "pactio . . . mutuo jura- 
mento " there described and the similar practice in those foreign 
towns which enjoyed the rights of a " communa." Thus at 
Bazas, in Aquitaine, " quum dominus rex venit apud Yasatum^ 
omnes cives Vasatenses jurant ei fidelitatem et obedientiam . . . 
similiter et rex et senescallus jurant dictis civibus Yasatensibus 
quod sit bonus dominus eis et teneat consuetudines, et custodiat 
eos de omni injuria de se et aliis pro posse suo." At Issigeac, 
in the Perigord, it was (as was usual) the lord who had to 
swear first before the citizens would do so : " en aital manieira 
que'l seinher reis . . . cant requerra et queste sagrament . . . ; 
deu jurar a lor premeirament qu'il los defendra de si et d'autrui 
de tot domnage, et las bonas custumas que il ont et que il 
auront lor gardet et lor amelhoret, a bona fe, . . . et que las 
males lor oste et lor tolha de tot. Et en apres, li prohome 
deven li far lo sagrament sobredich, que'l garderon son corps 
et sas gentz qui par lui esseron et sas dreituras de tort et de 
forsa," etc., etc. At Bourg-sur-Mer, in Gascony, the clause 
runs : " Dum dominus rex venit primo in Yasconia, juratur ab 
eo, dum est sistens et coram senescallo suo (vel a senescallo 
suo, dum ipse non est praesens, qui pro tempore veniet) quod 
villara et jus custodiet et defendet et de se et de alio ab omni 
injuria, et quod servabit foros et consuetudines suas. Nos 
juramus ei et senescallo fidelitatem." So too at Bayonne, when 
the Great Seneschal of Aquitaine, as representing the king, 


first arrived, he was called upon to swear by all the saints that 
he would be a good and loyal lord ; that he would protect the 
citizens from all wrong and violence, either from himself or 
from others ; that he would preserve all their rights, customs, 
and privileges, as granted them by the Kings of England and 
Dukes of Guyenne, to the utmost of his power, so long as he 
held the office, saving his fealty to the king.^ When he had 
done so, the mayor and jurats swore in their turn to him: — 
" By those saints, will we be good, faithful, loyal, and obedient 
to you; your life and limbs we will guard; good and loyal 
counsel will we give you to the best of our power, and your 
secrets will we keep." ^ These examples, which could be widely 
paralleled, not only in municipalities, but also in the rural 
commonwealths of the Pyrenean valleys, illustrate the principle 
and uniform character of this " mutuum juramentum." 

We are tempted then to ask whether it was not by some 
such transaction as this that Stephen secured the adhesion of 
the citizens. We shall find the Empress securing the city in 
1141, after a formal " tractatus " at St. Albans with its 
authorized representatives, and we know that the Conqueror 
himself made some terms with the citizens before he entered 
London. Comparing these facts with the reception at Win- 
chester of Stephen and the Empress in turn, it may fairly be 
questioned whether we should accept the startling assertion in 
the Gesta as literally correct. It would seem at least highly 
probable that what the Londoners really claimed in 1135 was 
not the right to elect a king of all England, but to choose their 
own lord independently of the rest of the kingdom, and to do 
so by a separate negotiation between himself and them. They 
were not, in any case, prepared to receive the king as their 

^ " Lo senescaut de Guiayne deu jurar en sa nabere vengude au mayre 
juratz et eeut partz et a laut poble et comunautat de Baione ... en queste 
forme : Per aques sentz Job serey bon seinhor et leyau, de tort et de force 
vos guoarderey de mi medichs et dautruy ; a mon leyau poder vostres fors 
vostres costumes et vostres priviledges sa en rer per los reys Dangleterre et 
dux de Guiayne autreyatz vos sauberey, tant quoant serey en lodit oflSci, 
sauban le fideutat de nostre seinhor lo Rey." 

^ " Et losditz maire et juratz deben jurar en le maneyre seguent disent 
assi : Per aques sentz nos vos seram bons, fideus, leyaus, et hobedieus ; vite 
et menbres vos guarderam ; bon cosseilh et leyau vos deram, a nostre leyau 
poder ; et segretz vos thieram." 


lord unless he would first guarantee them the possession of all 
their liberties. This semi-independent attitude, which was 
virtually that assumed by Exeter when it attempted to treat 
with the Conqueror, was distinctly foreign to the English polity 
so far as our knowledge goes. There are faint hints, however, 
in Domesday that such towns as London, York, Winchester, 
and Exeter may have possessed a greater independence than 
it has hitherto been the custom to believe. 




(See p. 8.) 

One of the most interesting and curious discoveries that I have 
made in the course of my researches has been the true story 
of the appeal to Rome as arbiter between Stephen and Maud. 
Considering the exceptional importance of this episode, in 
many ways, it has received strangely little attention, with the 
result that it has been imperfectly understood and almost 
incredibly misdated. 

Mr. Freeman, working, in the Norman Conquest^ from the 
Historia Pontificalis,^ writes of this episode as taking place on 
and in consequence of Stephen's attempt to secure the corona- 
tion of Eustace in 1152.^ Miss Norgate has gone into the 
matter far more fully than Mr. Freeman, but at first assigned 
the debate described in the Historia Pontificalis to " 1151."^ 

In so doing, she was guided merely by the Historia passage 
itself, w^hich she did not connect, as did Mr. Freeman, with the 
episode of the proposed coronation in 1152. But on inves- 

' Pertz's Monumenta Eistorica^ vol. xx. 

* " The application to Eome and the debate which followed it there are 
to be fonnd in the Historia Pontificalis, 41 (Pertz, xx. 543). Bishop (^sic) 
Henry ' proraisit se daturum operam et diligentiara ut apostolicus Eusta- 
chium filium regis coronaret. Quod utique fieri non licebat, nisi Romani 
pontificis venia impetrata.' I have already (see above, p. 251) had to refer 
to some of the points urged in this debate " (^Norm. Conq., v. 325, note). On 
turning to " p. 251," we similarly find the debate spokea of as belonging to 
" later years," and at p. 354 also, while at p. 857 we read : " At a later time, 
in the argument before Pope Innocent (He), when Stephen is trying to 
get the pontiff's consent to the coronation of his son Eustace (p. 325)," 
etc., etc. How an argument could be held before Innocent, many years 
after his death, Mr. Freeman does not explain. 

' England under the Angevin Kings, i. 278, note. 


tigating the matter more closely, she was clearly led to reject 
the date she had first given : — 

" From the way in which the trial is brought into the Ristoria PontificaUs, 
it would at first sight seem to have taken place in 1151. But the presence of 
Bishop Ulger of Angers and Roger of Chester, both of whom died in 1149, 
and the account of the proceedings written by Gilbert Foliot to Brian fitz 
Count, clearly prove the true date to be 1148." * 

As to the time of the bishop's death, Roger died, not in 1149, 
bat in April, 1148, and at Antioch, so that the chronology is no 
less fatal to Miss Norgate's date than to Mr. Freeman's own. 
But the additional evidence she obtains from Gilbert Foliot's 
letter requires a special examination. 

The sequence of events at which she arrives is this : — 

(1) Theobald goes, in defiance of Stephen, to the council 
convened at Rheims by Eugenius III. for Mid-Lent Sunday, 
(March) 1148 (N.S,). 

(2) Stephen forfeits Theobald, and is threatened in con- 
sequence by the Pope. 

(3) Geoffrey of Anjou, thereupon, challenges Stephen " to 
an investigation of his claims before the papal court." Stephen, 
in reply, calls on Geoffrey to surrender Normandy " before he 
would agree to any further proceeding in the matter." 

(4) Geoffrey surrenders Normandy — but to his son Henry, 
and Stephen "appears to have consented, as if in desperation, 
to the proposed trial at Rome." 

(5) "The trial " takes place, as recorded in the Hisforia 
Pontificalis, and is attended, inter alios, by Gilbert Foliot, Abbot 
of Gloucester, who had obtained " the succession to the vacant 
see " of Hereford at the Council of Rheims, and had added, in 
consequence, to his style the words " et Herefordiensis ecclesi86 
mandato Domini Papse vicarius." 

(6) Gilbert Foliot writes the letter to Brian fitz Count, 
reviewing the treatise which Brian had just composed in 
support of the claims of the Empress, and alluding to the above 
"trial " at Rome which he (Gilbert) had attended. 

(7) Gilbert Foliot is consecrated Bishop of Hereford by 
Theobald, at St. Omer, in September (1148).2 

Of these events, the cession of Normandy by Geoffrey to his 

' England under the Angevin Kings, i. 370, note. 
2 lbid.,i. 370,371,495,496. 


son Hemy belongs, as Mr. Howlefct has pointed out, not to 1148, 
but to 1150 or 1151.^ This, however, scarcely affects Miss 
Norgate's sequence of events. It is when we turn to Foliot's 
letter that our suspicions begin to be aroused. Although Dp. 
Giles has placed it at the end of those letters which belong to 
the period of his rule as abbot (1139-1148), we must be struck 
by the fact that if (as Miss Norgate holds) it was written just 
before his consecration as Bishop of Hereford, the style would 
have been "elect of Hereford," or, at least, "Vicar of the 
Diocese {ut supra),''^ instead of "Abbot of Gloucester" only. 
Moreover, as Henry was ex hypothesi now Duke of Normandy, 
the "trial" would have been, surely, of his own claims, not of 
those of his mother, who had virtually retired in his favour. 
Lastly, we must see that the date assigned by her to this 
"trial" at Rome (1148) is a mere hypothesis unsupported by 
any direct evidence. 

But, indeed, we have only to read the letter and the Historia 
Pontificalis to see that they must have been perused with almost 
incredible carelessness. For Gilbert Foliot distinctly mentions 
(a) that he is writing in the time of Pope Celestine,^ (h) that 
the " trial " took place under Pope Innocent.^ Now, Celestine 
died in ^larch, 1144, and his predecessor Innocent had died in 
September, 1143. The letter, therefore, must have been "^vritten 
within these six months, and the " trial " at Rome must have 
taken place before September 24, 1143. This being clear, we 
naturally ask : — How came Innocent thus to hear the case 
argued, when he had admittedly " confirmed " Stephen at the 
very beginning of his reign ? Having decided the question at 
the outset, how could he ignore that decision, and begin, as it 
were, de novo? Moreover, Stephen's champion is described by 
the Historia writer as Arnulf, Archdeacon of Seez, afterwards 
Bishop of Lisieux. Now, Miss Norgate, with her usual care, fixes 
the date of his elevation to the see as 1141.^ A council, therefore, 
which he attended as archdeacon must, on her ow^n showing, 
be not later than this.° Lastly, now that we know the council 

^ Academy, November 12, 1887. 

2 " Sed jam nunc Deo propitio et favente parti huic domino papa Celestino." 
' " Audisti dominum papam Innocentium convocasse ecclesiam et Romae 
conventum celebrem habuisse." 

* England under the Angevin Kings, i. 500. 

* Perhaps she did not recognize his name (see belowY 


to be previous to 1141, do not the words of the writer — "Magno 
illi conventui cum domino et patre nostro domino abbate Clunia- 
censi interfui et ego Cluniacensium minimus " — suggest that 
it was, further, previous to his becoming Abbot of Gloucester 
in 1139? Turning again to the passage in the Sistoria Ponti- 
ficalis (41), we find that, in the light of the above evidence, its 
meaning is beyond dispute. So, indeed, it should be of itself, 
but for a most incomprehensible blunder by which two passages 
of the narrative are printed in Pertz as part of the arguments 
advanced in the debate. The fact is that the writer of the 
Historia, when he comes to the proposal to crown Eustace, is 
anxious to show us how the matter stood by tracing the 
attitude of the Papacy to Stephen since the beginning of his 
reign. He, therefore, takes us right back to the year of the 
king's accession, and tells us how, and to what extent, his claim 
came to be confirmed. 

This discovery at once explains Gilbert Foliot's expression. 
For, the trial at Rome taking place, as I shall show, early in 
1136, he attended it, not as Abbot of Gloucester, but merely as 
" minimus Cluniacensium," in attendance on his famous abbot, 
Peter the Venerable (1122-1158). It may have been as prior 
(" claustral " prior ?) of the abbey that he thus attended him, 
for we know from himself that he had held that office. 

Everything now fits into place. We find that, following in 
her grandfather's footsteps, Maud at once appealed to Rome 
against Stephen's usurpation, charging him, precisely as William, 
in his day, had charged Harold, (1) with defrauding her of her 
rightful inheritance, (2) with breach of his oath. Stephen, 
when he had overcome the scruples of William of Corbeuil, and 
had secured coronation at his hands, hastened to take his next 
step by despatching to Rome three envoys to plead his cause 
before the pope. These envoys were Roger, Bishop of Chester, 
Arnulf, Archdeacon of Seez (the spokesman of the party), and 
"Lovel," a clerk of Archbishop William.^ This last was, of 
course, intended to represent his master in the matter, and to 
justify his action in crowning Stephen by explaining the 

1 "Ex adverse steterunt a rege missi Rogerus Cestrensis episcopus 
Lupellus clericus Guillelmi bone memorie Cautuarensis archiepiscopi, et 
qui els in causa patrocinabatur Ernulfus archidiaconus Sagiensis" (Hist 
Pontif., 41). 

2 54 THE APPEAL TO ROME IN 1 1 36, 

grounds on whicli his scruples had been overruled. The 
envoys were abundantly supplied with the requisite motive 
power — or, shall we say, the oil for lubricating the wheels of 
the Curia ? — from the hoarded treasure of the dead kiug, which 
was now in his successor's hands. The pope resolved that so 
important a cause required no ordinary tribunal : he convoked 
for the purpose a great council, and among those by whom it 
was attended was Peter, Abbot of Cluny, with Gilbert Foliot 
in his train.^ 

The name of Cluny leads me to break the thread for a 
moment for the purpose of insisting on the important fact that 
the sympathies of the house, under its then abbot, must have 
been with the Angevin cause. This is certain from the docu- 
ments printed by Sir George Duckett,* especially from the 
Mandatory Epistle of this same Abbot Peter relating to the 
Empress.^ We have here, I think, the probable explanation 
of the energy with which that cause was espoused by Gilbert 

To return to the council. The case for the prosecution, as 
we might term it, was opened by the Bishop of Angers, who 
charged Stephen both with perjury, that is, with breaking the 
oath he had sworn to Henry I., and with usurpation in seizing 
the throne to the detriment of the rightful heir.* Stephen's 

^ " Audisti domlQum papam Innocentium convocasse ecclesiam et Romse 
conventum celebrem habuisse. Magno illi conventui cum domino et patre 
nostro domino abbato Cluniacensi interfui et ego Cluniacensium minimus. 
Ibi causa haec in medium deducta est, et aliquandiu ventilata " (Foliot's letter, 
Ixxix., ed. Giles, i. 100). 

2 Charters and Records of the Ancient Ahhey of Cluni (1888). 

3 "Felicis memorise rex Anglorum et Dux Normannonim, Henricus, 
Willelmi prime duels deiu regis filius, speciali eam [Cluniacensem ecclesiam] 
amore coluit et veneratus est. Donis autem multiplicibus et magnis omnes 
jam dictos exsuperans, etiam majorem ecclesiam . . . miro et singulari opere 
inter universas pene tocius orbis ecclesias consummavit. Ea de causa, specialis 
apud universes Cluniacensis ordinis fratres ejus memoria habetur et in per- 
Petuum per Dei gratiam habebitur. Cui in paterna hereditate succedens 
Matildis, ejus lilia, Henrici magrii Romanorum imperatoris coujux . . . 
paternse imaginis et prudentisB formam velut sigillo impressam representavit, 
et prseter alia digna relatu, Cluniacensem ecclesiam morepatris sincere dilexit" 
(ibid., ii. 104). 

* " Stabat ab Imperatrice dominus Andegavensis episcopus, qui . . . duo 
inducebat precipue, jus scilicet hereditarium et factum imperatrici jura- 
mentum " (Foliot's letter, ut supra). '• Querimoniam imperatricis ad papam 


supporters, with Arnulf at their head, met these charges by a 
defence, the two reports of which are not in absolute harmony. 
It is quite certain that to the charge of usurpation they retorted 
that the Empress was the offspring of an unlawful alliance, and 
had, therefore, suffered no wrong. -^ But how they disposed of 
the oath is not so clear. According to Gilbert Foliot, whose 
account we may safely follow, they advanced the subtle and. 
ingenious plea that fidelity had only been sworn to the Empress 
as heir ("sicut heredi ") to the throne, and since (they urged) 
she was not such heir (for the reason given above), the oath 
was ipso facto void, and the charge fell to the ground.^ The 
other writer asserts that the defence was based, first, on the 
plea that the oath had been forcibly extorted, and, second, on 
the cunning pretence that the king had reserved to himself 
the right of appointing another heir, and had exercised that 
right on his deathbed, to the extent of disinheriting the 
Empress and nominating Stephen in her stead.^ 

A, careful study of the two versions has led me to believe 
that both writers were, probably, right in their facts. Gilbert 
Foliot would be the last man to invent an argument in favour 
of Stephen, nor would the other writer have any inducement to 

Innocentiura Ulgerius Andegavorum venerandus antistes detulit, arguens 
regem periurii et illicite presumptionis regni" (Hist. Pontif.,^1). 

* " Hie [Ernulfus] adversus episcopum allegavit publice, quod imperatrix 
patris erat indigna successione, eo quod de incestis nupciis procreata et filia 
fuerat monialis, quam Rex Henricus de monasterio Romeseiensi extraxerat 
eique velum abstulerat" {Hist. Pontif.). "Imperatricem, de qua loquitur, 
non de legitime matrimonio ortam denuntiamus, Deviavit a legitime tramite 
Henricus rex, et quam non licebat sibi junxit matrimonio, unde istius sunt 
natalitia propagata : quare illam patri in heredem non debere succedere et 
sacra denuntiant " (Foliot's letter). 

2 " Sublato enim jure principali, necessario tollitur et secundarium. In 
hac igitur causa principale est, quod dominus Andegavensis de hereditate 
inducit et ab hoc totum illud dependet, quod de juramento subjungitur. 
Imperatrici namque sicut heredi juramentum factum fuisse pronunciat. 
Totum igitur quod de juramento inducitur, exinaniri necesse est, si de ipso 
hereditario jure non constiterit " (ibid.). 

^ "Juramentum confessus est [Ernulfus], sed adjecit violentur extortum, 
et sub conditione scilicet imperatrici successionem patris se pro viribus serva- 
turum, nisi patrem voluntatem mutare contingeret et heredem alium insti- 
tuere ; poterat enim esse ut ei de uxore filius nasceretur. Postremo subjecit 
quod rex Henricus mutaverat voluntatem et in extremis agens filium sororis 
suss Stephanum designavit heredem " (Hist. Pontif.). 

256 THE APPEAL TO ROME IN 1 1 36. 

do so, writing (as he did) long after that king's death. More- 
over, the pleas that (1) the oath had been extorted, (2) Henry I. 
had released his barons from its obligation, are precisely those 
which the author of the Gesta and William of Malmesbnry ^ 
respectively mention as being advanced on Stephen's behalf. 
Lastly, we have yet another plea advanced by Bishop Roger of 
Salisbury, namely, that, so far as he was himself concerned, he 
looked on the re-marriage of the Empress, wdthout the consent 
of the Great Council, as absolving him from his oath. N'ow, all 
this points to one conclusion. The thorn in the side of Stephen 
and of his friends was, clearly, this unlucky oath. Their 
various attempts to excuse its breach betray their consciousness 
of the fact. More especially was this the case before a spiritual 
court. Hence their ingenious endeavour, described by Gilbert 
Foliot, to keep the oath in the background as the lesser of the 
two points. Hence, too, their accumulated pleas. First, they 
urge that the oath was void because the Empress was not the 
heir ; then, that it was void, because extorted ; lastly, that it was 
void because the dying king had released them from their 
obligation. Such an argument as this speaks for itself. 

The only point on which the two witnesses do, at first sight, 
differ, is the attitude taken by the Bishop of Angers with re- 
gard to the plea that the Empress was not of legitimate birth. 
Did he contravene this plea ? The Historia asserts that when 
Stephen's advocates had stated the case for the defence, the 
bishop rose and traversed their pleadings, rejecting them one by 
one. But Gilbert, writing to Brian fitz Count, admits that the 
attack on the birth of the Empress (the only argument which 
he discusses) had not been replied to.^ Now, the version found 
in the Historia, though composed much later, is a more detailed 
account, and bears the stamp of truth. Yet Gilbert's admission 
to his friend and ally betrays an uneasy consciousness that the 
charge had not been disposed of. For he asks him to suggest 
an effectual reply, and proceeds to suggest one himself.^ He 

^ So also Gervase of Cauterbury. 

2 " Hoc in communi audientia multum vociferatione declamatum est, et 
nihil omnino ab altera parte responsum." 

' " Kogo, mihi in parte ista respondeas. Interim dicam ipse quod sentio. 
Majores natu, personas religiosas et sanctas, saepius de re ista conveni. 
Audio illius matrimonii copulam sancto Anselmo archiepiscopo minis- 


relies on Sfc. Anselra's consent to her parents' marriage. We 
have here possibly the clue we seek. For the Bishop of Angers, 
in his speech, as given by the writer of the Historia^ had not 
alluded to St. Anselm's consent.^ Perhaps he was taken by 
surprise, and had not expected the plea. 

Stephen's advocates seem, from a hint of Gilbert Foliot,^ to 
have simply " stampeded the convention " (conventus^, and the 
wrath of the Angevin champion rose to a white heat.^ The 
pope commanded that the wrangling should cease, and announced 
that he would neither pass sentence nor allow the trial to be 
adjourned. This was equivalent to a verdict that the king was 
not guilty, and was duly followed by a letter to Stephen con- 
firming him in his possession of the kingdom and the duchy.^ 

Seeing that he had lost his case, the aged Bishop of Angers 
relieved his feelings by a bitter jest at the cost of the heir of 
St. Peter.5 

But we are more immediately concerned with that letter by 
which the pope (the writer tells us) confirmed Stephen in 
possession. For this connecting link is no other than the letter 
which meets us in the pages of Richard of Hexham.^ 

Its relevant portion runs thus : — 

" Nos cognoscentes vota tantorum virorum in personam tuam, praeunte 

trante celebratam .... Manus autem sibi prsecidi permississet [Auselmiis], 
quam eas ad opus illicitum extendisset." 

^ His reply was : *' Ipsa [Romana ecclesia] enim confirmavit matri- 
monium quod acciisas, filiamque ex eo susceptam domnus Pascaiis Romanus 
pontifex inunxit in imperatricem. Quod utique non fecisset de filia monialis. 
Nee eum Veritas latere poterat, quia non fuit obscurum matrimonium ant 
contractum in tenebris." 

' " Multorum vociferatione declamatum est." 

^ "In Archidiaconum excandescens " (Hist. Pontif.). 

* " Non tulit ulterius contentiones eorum domnus Innocentius nee 
sententiam ferre voluit aut causam in aliud diflferre tempus, sed contra 
consilium quorundam cardinaliura et maxime Guidonis presbiteri sancti 
Marci, receptis muneribus regis Stepbani, ei familiaribus litteris regnum 
Angliae confirmavit et ducatum Normannise." This is the passage so inex- 
plicably printed in Pertz as part of the bishop's speech, which im- 
mediately precedes it. 

* " Ulgerius vero cum cognition! cause supersederi videret, verbo 
comico utebatur dicens : ' De causa sua querentibns intus despondebitur ; ' et 
adjiciebat : ' Petrus enim peregre profectus est, nummularis relicta domo ' " 
{met. Pontif.). « Ed. Hewlett, p. 147. 


258 THE APPEAL TO ROME IX 1 1 36. 

divina gratia, convenisse, pro spe etiam certa,^ et [quia] beato Petro in ipsa 
consecrationis tuae die obedieutiam et reverentiam promisisse, et quia dc 
prgefati regis prosapia prope posito gradu originem traxisse dinosceris, quod 
de te factum est gratuni habentes, te in specialem beati Petri et sanctse 
Romanae ecclesie fillum affectione paterna recipimus, et in eadem honoris 
et familiaritatis praerogativa, qua predecessor tuus egregise reeordationis 
Heuricus a nobis coronabatur, te propensius voluuius retinere." 

The chronicler, observing that Stephen was " his et aliis modis 
in regno Angliee confirmatus," passes straight from this letter 
to the King's Oxford charter, in which he describes himself as 
" ab Innocentio sanctae Romanae sedis pontifice confirmatus." 
Of this " confirmation," as we find it styled by the author of 
the Sistoria, by Richard of Hexham, by John of Hexham, 
and lastly, by Stephen himself, I speak more fully in the text. 
For the present the point to be grasped is that (1) the " con- 
ventus " at Rome was previous to (2) this letter of the pope, 
which was previous itself to (3) Stephen's charter, which is 
assigned to the spring (after Easter) of 113G. Thus we arrive 
at the fact that the council and debate at Rome belong to the 
early months of 1136. 

To complete while we are about it the explanation of the 
Historia narrative, we will now take the second passage which 
has been erroneously printed in Pertz — 

" Postea, cum prefatus Guido cardinalis promoveretur in papam Celes- 
tinum, favore imperatricis scripsit domuo Theobaldo Cantuarensi arcbiepiscopo 
inhibens ne qua fieret innovatio in regno Anglie circa coronam, quia res erat 
litigiosa cujus translatio jure reprobata est. Successores eius papae Lucius et 
Eugenius eandem prohibitionem innovaverunt." 

This passage is absurdly given as part of Bishop Ulger's sneer. 
The above cardinal is Guy, cardinal priest of St. Mark, 
referred to in the previous misplaced passage as opposing the 
confirmation of Stephen. Observe here that three waiters 
allude quite independently to his sympathy with the Angevin 
cause. These are — (1) the writer {ut supra) of the Historia 
Pontificalis ; (2) Gilbert Foliot, who speaks of him, when pope, 
as " favente parti huic domino papa Celestino," and (3) John 
of Hexham, who describes him as " Alumpnus Andegavensium." 
A coincidence of testimony, so striking as this, strengthens the 

* Compare the description of Henry of Winchester, shortly before this, 
as " spe scilicet captus ampHssima " that Stephen would do his duty by the 


authority of all three, including that of the writer of the Historia 

The step taken by Pope Celestine was based on the alleged 
doubt in which his predecessor had left the question. It was, 
he held, still "res litigiosa," and, therefore, without reversing 
the action of Innocent in the matter, he felt free to forbid any 
further step in advance. His instructions to that effect, to the 
primate, were duly renewed by his successors, and covered, 
when the time arrived, the case of the coronation of Eustace 
as being an "innovatio in regno Anglie circa coronam." 
Stephen had, indeed, been confirmed as king, and this could not 
be undone. But that confirmation did not extend to the son of 
the " perjured " king.^ 

With the character and meaning of the " confirmation " ob- 
tained by Stephen from the pope, I have dealt in the body of 
this work. There are, however, a few minor points which had 
better be disposed of here. Of these the first is Miss Norgate's 
contention that when, in 1148, Stephen met Geoffrey's challenge 
to submit his claims to Rome, " by a counter challenge calling 
upon Geoffrey to give up his equally ill-gotten duchy before 
he would agree to any further proceeding in the matter," 

" Geoffrey took him at his word, but in a way which he was far from 
desiring. He did give up the duchy of Normandy, by making it over to his 
own son, Henry Fitz-Empress." ^ 

A reference to the passage in the Historia ^ on which Miss 
Norgate relies, will show at once that Geoffrey, on receiving 
the counter-challenge, abandoned all thought of carrying the 
matter further.^ It also incidentally proves that Geoffrey had 

* " Ne fiUum regis, qui contra jusjurandum regnum obtinuisse videbatur 
in regem sublimaret " {Gervase). 

2 Vol. i. p. 369. 

^ Pertz, XX. p. 531. Bishop Miles is sent to England, " ad petitionem 
Gaufridi comitis Andegavorum, ut regem super perjurio et regni occupatione 
conveniret et ducatu Normannife, quern invaserat." 

* Mr. Hewlett has duly pointed out that Geoffrey did not, as Miss Norgate 
imagines, hand over Normandy to his son in consequence of this challenge ; 
but I would point out further that Stephen demanded not merely the sur- 
render of Normandy, but also that of the English districts then under Angevin 
sway (" Hoc retulit responsum : quod rex utrumque honorem et jure suo 
et ecclesie Romane auctoritate adeptus erat, nee refugerat stare judiHo apo- 
stolicds sedi$, quando eum comes violenter ducatu spoliavit et parte regni. 
Quihus non restitutis non debebat subire judicium " (p. 531). 


refused admission to his dominions to either pope or legate. 
This is a fact of interest. 

This was not the only occasion on -which Stephen's " recog- 
nition " by the pope stood him in good stead. At the crisis of 
1141, the sensitive conscience of Archbishop Theobald had pre- 
vented his transferring his allegiance to the Empress, badly 
though Stephen had treated him, till he received permission 
from the Lord's anointed to follow in the footsteps of his brother 

The loyal primate explained the position when Gilbert 
Foliot had enraged the Angevins by doing homage to Stephen 
for the see of Hereford. Wholly Angevin though they were 
in their sympathies, the prelates maintained that they were 
bound as Chui'chmen to follow the pope's ruling, and that the 
Papacy had "received" Stephen as king.^ 

Another point deserving notice is the choice of Arnulf, 
afterwards the well-known Bishop of Lisieux, as Stephen's 
chief envoy in 1136. For Miss Norgate, oddly enough, misses 
this point in her sketch of this distinguished man's career.^ 
She has nothing to say of his doings between his Tractatus de 
ScMsmate, "about 1130," and his appointment to the see of 
Lisieux in 1141, from which date "for the next forty years 
there was hardly a diplomatic transaction of any kind, eccle- 
siastical or secular, in England or in Graul, in which he was 
not at some moment or in some way or other concerned." ^ This, 
therefore, constitutes a welcome addition to his career, and, 
moreover, gives us the reason of Geofeey's aversion to him, 
when duke, and of the "heavy price " with which his favour 
had to be bought by Arnulf .° 

1 " Confiscata sunt [1148] bona ejus et secundo proscriptus pro obediencia 
Eomane ecclesie. Nam et alia -vice propter obedienciam sedis Apostolicse 
proscriptus, quando, urgente mandate domini Henrici Wintoniensis 
episcopi tunc legatione fungentis in Anglia post alios episcopos omnes re- 
ceperat imperatricem . . . licet inimicissimos habuerit regem et consiliarios 
Buos" (Htsf. Pontif.). 

* [Stephen] " quem tota Anglicana ecclesia sequebatur ex constitutione 
ecclesie Romnne. Licet proceres divisi diversos principes sequerentur, 
unum tamen habebat ecclesia . . . quod episcopo non licuerat ecclesia m 
scindere ei subtrabendo fidelitatem quem ecclesia Eomana recipiebat ut prin- 
cipem"(I6id.,pp. 532, 583). 

* England under the Angevin Kings, i. 500-502. * Ibid. 

* The stinging taunts of the Bishop of Angers on ArnulPs humble origin, 


The last point concerns the " most interesting and valuable " 
letter from Gilbert Foliot to Brian fitz Count. A careful 
perusal of this composition has led me to believe, from internal 
evidence, that it refers not (as Miss Norgate puts it) to a 
" book " by Brian fitz Count, or " a defence of his Lady's rights 
in the shape of a little treatise,"^ but to a justification of bis 
own conduct in reply to hostile criticism. And I venture to 
think that so far from this composition being " unhappily lost," ^ 
it may be, and probably is, no other than that lengthy epistle 
from Brian to the Bishop of Winchester, of which a copy was 
entered in Richard de Bury's Liber Epistolaris. And there, 
happily, it is still preserved.^ This can only be decided when 
the contents of that epistle are made accessible to the public, 
as they should have been before now. 

To resume. I have now established these facts. The '' trial " 
at Rome took place, not, as Mr. Freeman assumes, in 1152, nor, 
as Miss Norgate argues, in 1148, but early in 1136. The letter 
of Gilbert Foliot, in which he refers to it, was written, not in 
1148, but late in 1143 or early in 1144. The whole of Miss 
Norgate's sequence of events (i. 369, 370) breaks down entirely. 
The great debate before the pope at Rome was not the result 
of Stephen's attempt to get Eustace crowned, nor of Geoffrey's 
challenge to Stephen by the mouth of Bishop Miles, but of the 
charge brought against Stephen at the very outset of his reign. 
The true story of this debate and of Stephen's "confirmation," 
by the pope, as king is here set forth for the first time, and 
throws on the whole chain of events a light entirely new. 

as given in the Hist. Pontif., are of great importance in their bearing on 
Henry I.'s policy of raising men to power " from the dust." They should 
be compared with the well-known sneer of Ordericus (see p. 111). 

^ England under the Angevin Kings, i. p. 496, note. 

2 Ibid., p. B69. 3 Ibid., p. 496, note. 

* I called attention to this letter in a communication to the Athenseum, 
pointing out that in Mr. Horwood's report on the Liber Epistolaris in an 
Historical MSS. Commission Report on Lord Harlech's MSS. (1874), mention 
was made, among its contents, of a letter from the Bishop of Winchester to 
Brian fitz Count, and of Brian's reply, which is merely described as " a long 
reply to the above" (it extends over three folios), and of which a precis 
should certainly have been given. 

( 262 ) 



(See p. 19.) 

I HERE give in parallel columns the witnesses to (I.) Stephen's 
grant to Winchester ; (11.) his grant of the bishopric of Bath ; 
(III.) his great charter of liberties subsequently issued at 


King Stephen. 
Queen Matilda. 
William, Earl "VVarenne. 
Ranulf, Earl of Che-ster. 
Henry, 8on of the King 

of Scotland [Scotie]. 
Roger, Earl of Warwick. 
Waleran, Count of 

William de Albemarla. 
Simon de Silvanecta. 
Aubrey de Vere, Came- 

William de Albini, Pin- 

Robert de Ver, Coue- 

Miles de Gloucester, 

Brian fitz Count, Cone- 

Robert fitz Richard, 

Robert Malet, Dapifer. 
[William] Martel, Dapi- 
Simon de Beauchamp, 

William, Archbishop of 



William, Archbishop of 

Thurstan, Archbishop 
of Y..rk. 

Hugh, Archbishop of 

Henry, Bishop of Win- 

Roger, Bishop of Salis- 

Alexander, Bishop of 

Nigel, Bishop of Ely. 

Seffrid, Bishop of Chi- 

Robert, Bishop of Here- 

John, Bishop of Ro- 

Bernard, Bishop of St. 

Simon, Bishop of Wor- 

Ebrard, Bishop of Xor- 

Audoen, Bishop of 

John, Bishop of Seez. 

" Algarus," Bishop of 


William, Archbishop of 

Hugh, Archbishop of 

Henry, Bishop of Win- 

Roger, Bishop of Salis- 

Alexander, Bishop of 

Nigel, Bi-hop of Ely. 

Ebrard, Bishop of Nor- 

Simon, Bishop of Wor- 

Bernard, Bishop of St. 

Audoen, Bishop of 

Richard, Bishop of 

Robert, Bishop of Here- 

John, Bishop of Ro- 

Athelwulf, Bishop of 

Roger the Chancellor. 

Henry, the nephew of 
the king. 


Thurstan, Archbishop 

of York. 
Hugh, Archbishop of 

Roger, Bishop of Salis- 
Nigel, Bishop of Ely. 
Seflfrid, Bishop of Chi- 
Ebrard, Bishop of Nor- 
Simon, Bishop of Wor- 
Robert, Bishop of Bath. 
Bernard, Bishop of St. 

Robert, Bishop of Here- 
John, Bishop of Ro- 
Audoen, Bishop of 

John, Bishop of Se'ez. 
Richard, Bishop of 

" Algarus," Bishop of 

Roger the Chancellor. 
Roger de Fecamp, Ca- 

Henry, nephew of King 

Reginald, son of King 

Robert de Ferrers. 
William Peverel de 

Ilbert de Lacy. 
AValter Espec. 
Payn fitz John. 


Richard, Bishop of 

Athelwulf, Bishop of 

Roger the Chancellor. 
Henry, the nephew of 

the king. 
Henry, son of the King 

of Scotland. 
William, Earl War- 

Waleran, Count of 

Roger, Earl of Warwick. 
Robert de Ver, Cone- 

Miles de Gloucester, 

Aubrey de Vere, Came- 

William de Pont de 

I'arche, Camerarius. 
Robert fitz Richard, 

William de Albini, 

Robert de Ferrars. 
Robert Arundel. 
Geoffrey de Mandeville. 
Ilbert de Lacy. 
William Peverel. 
Geoffrey Talbot. 


Robert, Earl of Glou- 
William, Earl War- 

Ranulf, Earl of Chester. 

Roger, Earl of War- 

Robert de Ver. 

Miles de Gloucester. 

Brian fitz Count. 

Robert de Oilli. 

William Martel. 

Hugh Bigot. 

Humphrey de Bohun. 

Simon de Beauchamp.J 

William de Albini. 

Eudo Martel. 

Robert de Ferrers. 

William Peverel de 

Simon de Saintliz. 

William de Albamarla. 

Payn fitz John. 

Hamo de St. Clare. 

Ilbert de Lacy.* 

B a 

* This list is taken from that in Stubbs' Select Charters, which is derived, 
through the Statutes of the Realm, from a copy at Exeter Cathedral. There 
is another version in Richard of Hexham (ed. Howlett, pp. 149, ]50), in 
which Payn fitz John is omitted and Hugh de St. Clare entered in error for 
Hamon. But the reading " Silvanecta *' (for " Saint liz ") is confirmed by 
Charter No. I., as well as by a charter in Cott. MSS., Nero, C. iii. (tbl. 177)- 
Both versions of this list are questionable as to the second "pincerna," the 
statutes reading " Eudone Mart'," while Richard givea " Martel de Alb'." 


I. II. III. 

Eustace fitz John, 
"Walter de Salisbury. 
Robert Arundel. 
Geoffrey de Mande- 

Hamo de St. Clare. a> 
Roger de Valoines. \ o 
Henry de Port. ^g 

Walter fitz Richard. 
Walter de Gant. 
Walter de Bolebec. 
Walchelin Maminot. 
William de Percy. ^ 

There were thus assembled al the Easter court of 1136 
the two primates of England and twelve of their suffragans, 
and the primate of Normandy, with four of his — nineteen prelates 
in all. Next to these, in order of precedence, were Henry, the 
king's nephew,^ Henry, son of the King of Scots, and Reginald, 
afterwards Earl of Cornwall, whose presence, as a son of the 
late king, was of importance in the absence of the Earl of 
Gloucester. The names in all three lists repay careful study. 
Among them we find all of the leading supporters of the 
Empress in the future, while in Robert de Ferrers, William de 
Aumale, and Geoffrey de Mandeville, we recognize three of 
those who were to receive earldoms from Stephen. The style 
and place of William de Aumale deserves special notice, 
because they prove that he did not, as is supposed, enjoy 
comital rank at the time."^ This fact, further on, will have an 
important bearing. So, too, Simon de St. Liz (" de Silva 
Necta ") was clearly not an earl at the time of these charters. 
It is believed indeed that he was Earl of Northampton, while 

* This list is here printed as it is given by Hearne, but the order of the 
names, of course, is wholly erroneous, tbe prelates being placed low down 
instead of at the head. The right order would be prelates, chancellor (and 
chaplain), the "royalties," the earls, the household officers, and the 
" barones." But it would not be safe to rearrange the names in the absence 
of the original charter, in which they probably stood in parallel columns. 

^ Henry de Soilli (or Sully), son of Stephen's brother William. I find him 
attesting a charter of Stephen abroad, subsequently, as " H. de Soilli, nepote 
regis." He was a monk, and failing to obtain the bishopric of Salisbury or 
the archbishopric of York, in 1140, was consoled with the Abbey of Fe'catnp. 

^ For if he had even been then a count over sea, he would have ranked, 
like the Count of Meulan, among English earls. 


Henry of Scotland was Earl of Hantingdon. But it is clear 
that when Henry received from Stephen, as he had jast done, 
Waltheof's earldom, that grant must have comprised North- 
ampton as well as Huntingdon ; and I have seen other evidence 
pointing to the same conclusion. In after years, when Simon 
was as loyal as the Scotch court was hostile to Stephen, he 
may well have received the earldom of Northampton from the 
king he served so well. But for the present, Henry of Scotland 
was in high favour with Stephen, so high that the jealousy of 
the Earl of Chester, stirred by the alienation of Carlisle, blazed 
forth at this very court. ^ Their mention of Ranulf's presence, 
as of Henry's, confirms the authenticity of our charters. 

The document with which they should be compared is the 
charter granted to the church of Salisbury by Henry I. at his 
Northampton council in 1131 (September 8).^ Its witnesses 
are the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, ten bishops 
(Gilbert of London, Henry of Winchester, Alexander of 
Lincoln, John of Rochester, Seffrid of Chichester, William 
of Exeter, Robert of Hereford, Symon of Worcester, Roger of 
" Chester," and Ebrard of Norwich), seven abbots (Anscher 
of Reading, Ingulf of Abingdon, Walter of Gloucester, Geoffrey 
of St. Albans, Herbert of Westminster, Warner of Battle, and 
Hugh of St. Augustine's), Geoffrey the chancellor,^ with 
Robert " de Sigillo,"* and Nigel the Bishop of Salisbury's 
nephew,^ five earls (Robert of Gloucester, William of Warenne, 
Randulf of Chester, Robert of Leicester, and Roger of Warwick), 
nineteen barons (Brian fitz Count, Miles de Gloucester, Hugh 
Bigod, Humfrey de Bohun, Payne fitz John, Geoffrey de 
Clinton, William de Pont de I'Arche, Richard Basset, Aubrey 
de Yer, Richard fitz Gilbert, Roger fitz Richard, Walter fitz 

^ " Fuit quoqne Henricus filius regis Scottise ad curiam Stephani regis 
Anglise in proxima Pascba, quam apud Londouiam festive tenuit, cum 
maximo bonore susceptus, atque ad mensam ad dexteram ipsius regis sedit. 
Uude et Willelmus archiepiscopus Cantuarensis se a rege subtraxit, et quidam 
proceres Anglise erga regem indignati coram ipso Henrico calumpnias 
intulerant" {Ric. Hexham). Among these "proceres" was the Earl of Chester, 

^ Sarum Charters and Documents (Rolls Series), pp. 6, 7. 

^ Afterwards Bishop of Durham. 

"* Afterwards Bishop of London. 

^ Afterwards the celebrated Bishop of Ely. 


Richard, Walter de Gant, Robert de Ferrers, William Peverel 
of Nottingham, Baldwin de Redvers, Walter de Salisbury, 
William de Moion, Robert de Arundel), forty-six in all. In 
many ways a very noteworthy list, and not least in its likeness 
to the future House of Lords, with its strong clerical element. 
It is impossible to comment on all the magnates here assembled 
at Henry's court, many of whom we meet with again, but 
attention may be called to the significant fact that nine of the 
earldoms created under Stephen were bestowed on houses 
represented among the nineteen barons named above.^ 

1 See Appendix D : " The ' Fiscal ' Earls." 

( 26; ) 



(See p. 53.) 

" Stephen's earldoms are a matter of great constitutional 
importance." Such are the words of the supreme authority 
on the constitutional history of the time. I propose, therefore, 
to deal with this subject in detail and at some length, and to 
test the statements of the chroniclers — too readily, as I think, 
accepted — by the actual facts of the case, so far as they can 
now be recovered. 

The tAvo main propositions advanced by our historians on 
this subject are : (1) that Stephen created many new earls, 
who were deposed, by Henry II. on his accession;^ (2) that 
these new earls, having no means of their own, had to be pro- 
vided for "by pensions on the Exchequer."^ That these 
propositions are fairly warranted by the statements of one or 
two chroniclers may be at once frankly conceded; that they 
are true in fact, we shall now find, may be denied without 

Let us first examine Dr. Stubbs's view as set forth in his 
own words : — 

" Not satisfied with putting this " Stephen also would have a court 

weapon into the hands of his enemies, of great earls, but in trying to make 

he provoked their pride and jealousy himself friends he raised up per- 

by conferring the title of earl upon sistent enemies. He raised new men 

some of those whom he trusted most to new earldoms, but as he had no 

implicitly, irrespective of the means spare domains to bestow, he endowed 

which they might have of supporting them with pensions charged on the 

their new dignity. Their poverty was Exchequer . . . the new and uusub- 

^ So also Gneist : " Under Stephen, new comites appear to be created 
in great numbers, and with extended powers ; but these pseudo-earls were 
deposed under Henry II. " (Const. Hid., i. 140, note). 

2 Stubbs, Const. Hist, i. 362. Hence the name of " fiscal earls," invented, 
I believe, by Dr. Stubbs. See also Addenda. 


relieved by pensions drawn from the stantial earUloms provoked the re il 
Exchequer. . . . Stephen, almost be- earls to further hostility; and the 
fore the struggle for the crown had newly created lords demanded of the 
begun, attempted to strengtlien his king new privileges as the reward 
party by a creation of new earls. To and security for their continued ser- 
these the third penny of the county vices " {Early Plants., p. 19). ^ 
was given, and their connection with 
the district from which the title was 
taken was generally confined to this 
comparatively small endowment, the 
rest of their provision being furnished 
by pensions on the Exchequer " ( Const. 
Hist., i. 32i, 362). 

^ow, these "pensions on the Exchequer" must, I fear, be 
dismissed at once as having an existence only in a misappre- 
hension of the writer. Indeed, if the Exchequer machinery had 
broken down, as he holds, it is difficult to see of what value 
these pensions would be. But in any case, it is absolutely 
certain that such grants as were made were alienations of lands 
and rents, and not " pensions " at all.- The passages bearing 
on these grants are as follows. Robert de Torigny (alias " De 
Monte") states that Stephen "omnia pene ad fiscum pertinentia 
minus caute distribuerat," and that Henry, on his accession, 
" coepit revocare in jus proprium urbes, castella, villas, quae ad 
coronam regni pertinebant." ^ William of Newburgh writes : — 

" Considerans autem Eex [Henricus] quod regii redditus breves essent, 
qui avito tempore uberes fuerant, eo quod regia dominica per mollitiem regis 
Stephani ad alia multosque dominos majori ex parte migrassent, praecepit 

^ See also Select Charters, p. 20. 

^ The error arises from a not unnatural, but mistaken, rendering of the 
Latin. The term " fiscus " was used at the time in the sense of Crown 
demesne. Thus Stephen claimed the treasures of Roger of Salisbury " quia 
eas tempore regis Henrici, avunculi et antecessoris sui, ex fisci regit redditihus 
Rogerius episcopus collegisset " (Will. Malms.). So, too, in the same reign, 
the Earl of Chester is suspected of treason, " quia regalium fiscorum redditus 
et castella, quae violentur possederat reddere negligebat " ((resfa). This 
latter passage has been misunderstood, Miss Xorgate, for instance, render- 
ing it : " to pay his dues to the royal treasury." It means that the earl 
refused to surrender the Crown castles and estates which he had seized. 
Again, speaking of the accession of Henry of Essex's fief to the Crown 
demesne, "William of Xewburgh writes : "amplissimo autem patrimonio ejus 
fiscum auxit." 

' Anno 1155. Under the year 1171 he records a searching investigation 
by Henry into the alienated demesnes in Normandy. 


ca cum omni integritate a quibuscunque detentioribus resignari, et in jus 
statumque pristinum revocari." 

In the vigorous words of Williain of Malmesbury : — 

" Multi siquidem ... a rege, hi prsedia, hi castella, postremo qusecum- 
que semel collibuisset, petere non verebantur ; . . . Denique multos etiam 
comites, qui ante non fuerant, instituit, applicitis possessionibus et redditibns 
quae proprio jure regi competebant." 

It is on this last passage that Dr. Stubbs specially relies ; 
but a careful comparison of this with the two preceding extracts 
will show that in none of them are " pensions " spoken of. The 
grants, as indeed charters prove, always consisted of actual 

The next point is that these alienations were, for the most 
part, made in favour not of "fiscal earls," but, on the contrary, 
in favour of those who were not created earls. ^ There is reason 
to believe, from such evidence as we have, that, in this matter, 
the Empress was a worse olfender than the king, while their 
immaculate successor, as his Pipe-Rolls show, was perhaps the 
worst of the three. It is, at any rate, a remarkable fact that 
the only known charter by which Stephen creates an earldom 
— being that to Geoffrey de Mandeville (1140) — does not grant 
a pennyworth of land, while the largest grantee of lands known 
to us, namely, William d'Ypres, was never created an earl.^ 
Then, again, as to " the third penny." It is not even mentioned 
in the above creation-charter, and there is no evidence that 
" the third penny of the county was given " to all Stephen's 
earls ; indeed, as I have elsewhere shown, it was probably 
limited to a few (see Appendix H). 

The fact is that the whole view is based on the radically 
false assumption of the "poverty" of Stephen's earls. The 
idea that his earls were taken from the ranks is a most extra- 
ordinary delusion. They belonged, in the main, to that class 

^ The erroneous view is also found in a valuable essay on " The Crown 
Lands," by Mr. S. K. Bird, who writes : " It is true that extensive alienations 
of those lands [the demesne lands of the Crown] took place during the tur- 
bulent reign of Stephen, in order to enable that monarch to endow the new 
earldoms " (Antiquary, xiii. 160). 

2 The king's "second charter" to Geoffrey de Mandeville is not in point, 
for it was unconnected with his creation as earl, and was necessitated by the 
grants of the Empress, 


of magnates from Tvhom, both, before and after his time, the 
earls were nsuallj drawn. Dr. Stubbs's own words are in 
themselves destructive of his view : — 

" Stephen made Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk, Aubrey de Vera Earl of 
Oxford, Geoffrey de Mandeville Earl of Essex, Kichard de Clare Earl of 
Hertford, William of Aumale Earl of Yorkshire, Gilbert de Clare Earl 
of Pembroke, Robert de Ferrers Earl of Derby, and Hugh de Beaumont 
Earl of Bedford." ^ 

Were such nobles as these " new men " ? Had tlieir 
" poverty " to be " relieved " ? Why, their very names are 
enough ; they are those of the noblest and wealthiest houses in 
the baronage of Stephen's realm. Even the last, Hugh de 
Beaumont, though not the head of his house, had two elder 
brothers earls at the time, nor was it proposed to create him 
an earl till, by possession of the Beauchamp fief, he should be 
qualified to take his place among the great landowners of the 

Having thus, I hope, completely disposed of this strange 
delusion, and shown that Stephen selected his earls from the 
same class as other kings, I now approach the alleged deposi- 
tion of the earls created by the Empress and himself, on the 
accession of Henry II. 

I would venture, on the strength of special research, to 
make several alterations in the lists given by Dr. Stubbs.^ 

The earldoms he assigns to Stephen are these : — 

Norfolk. Hugh Bigod (before 1153). 

OxFOED. Aubrey de Vere (^questionable). 

Essex. Geoffrey de Mandeville (before 1143). 

Hertford. Richard de Clare (uncertain). 

Yorkshire. William of Aumale (1138). 

Pembroke. Gilbert de Clare (1138). 

Derby. Robert de Ferrers (1138). 

Bedford. Hugh de Beaumont, 

Kent. William of Ypres (^questionable). 
From these we must at once deduct the two admitted to be 
" questionable : " William of Ypres, because I am enabled to state 

» Const. Hist, i. 362. 

2 " As Stephen's earldoms are a matter of great constitutional importance, 
it is asTvell to give the dates and authorities " (Ibid., i. 362). 


absolutely, from my own knowledge of charters, that he never 
received an English earldom,^ and Aubrey de Vere, because 
there is no evidence whatever that Stephen created him an earl. 
On the other hand, we must add the earldoms of Arundel (or 
Chichester or Sussex) and of Lincoln.^ When thus corrected, 
the list will run : — 

Deeby. Robert de Ferrers (1138). 

Yorkshire. William of Aumale (1138). 

Pembroke. Gilbert de Clare (1138). 

Essex. Geoffrey de Mandeville (1140). 

Lincoln. William de Roumare (? 1139-1140). 

Norfolk. Hugh Bigod (before February, 1141). 

Arundel. William de Albini (before Christmas, 1141). 

Hertford. Gilbert de Clare ^ (before Christmas, 1141). 

Bedford. Hugh de Beaumont (? 1138). 

A glance at this list will show how familiar are these titles 
to our ears, and how powerful were the houses on which they 
were bestowed. With the exception of the last, which had a 
transitory existence, the names of these great earldoms became 
household words. 

Turning now to the earldoms of the Empress, and confining 
ourselves to new creations, we obtain the following list : — 

Cornwall. Reginald fitz Roy (? 1141). 

Devon. Baldwin de Redvers (before June, 1141). 

Dorset (or Somerset). William de Mohun (before June, 

Hereford. Miles of Gloucester (July, 1141). 

Oxford. Aubrey de Vere (1142). 

Wiltshire ("Salisbury"). Patrick of Salisbury (in or 
before 1149).* 

* There is a curious allusion to him in John of Salisbury's letters (ed. 
Giles, i. 174, 175) as " famosissimus ille tyrannus et ecclesise nostras gravis- 
simus persecutor, Willelmus de Ypra" (cf. pp. 129, 206 n., 213 w., 275 n.). 

"^ A shadowy earldom of Cambridge, known to us only from an Inspeximus 
temp. Edward III., and a doubtful earldom of Worcestershire bestowed on the 
Count of Meulau, need not be considered here. 

^ Son of Richard de Clare, who, in Dr. Stubbs's list and elsewliere, is 
erroneously supposed to have been the first earl. 

* The earliest mention of Patrick, as an earl, that I have yet found is in 
the Devizes charter of Henry (1149). 


This varies from Dr. Stubbs's list in omitting Essex 
(Geoffrey de Mandeville) as only a confirmation, and adding 
Devox (Baldwin de Redvers), an earldom wbich is always, 
bnt erroneously, stated to have been conferred upon Baldwin's 
father temp. Henry I.^ Of these creations, Hereford is the 
one of which the facts are best ascertained, while Dorset or 
Somerset is that of which least is known.^ 

The merest glance at these two lists is sufficient to show 
that the titles conferred by the rival competitors for the crown 
were chosen from those portions of the realm in which their 
strength respectively lay. Nor do they seem to have encroached 
npon the sphere of one another by assigning to the same county 
rival earls. This is an important fact to note, and it leads us 
to this further observation, that, contrary to the view advanced 
by Dr. Stubbs, the earls created in this reign took their title, 
wherever possible, from the counties in which lay their chief 
territorial streno^th. Of the earldoms existingr at the death 
of Henry (Chester, Leicester, Warwick, Gloucester, Surrey, 
[Northampton?], Huntingdon, and Buckingham^), Surrey was 
the one glaring exception to this important rule. Under 
Stephen and Matilda, in these two lists, we have fifteen new 
earls, of whom almost all take their titles in accordance with 
this same rule. Hugh Bigod, Robert de Ferrers, William 
of Aumale, Geoffrey de Mandeville, William de Albini, William 
de Roumare, William de Mohun, Baldwin de Redvers, Patrick 
of Salisbury, are all instances in point. The only exceptions 
suggest the conclusion that where a newly created earl could 
not take for his title the county in which his chief possessions 
lay, he chose the nearest county remaining vacant at the time. 
Thus the head of the house of Clare must have taken Hertford 

^ In an interesting cliarter (transcribe! in Lansdoicne MS., 229, fol. 116?)) 
of this Earl Baldwin as " Comes Exonie," granted at Carisbrooke, be speaks, 
" Ricurdi de Eedvers patris mei" 

* I have sliown (p. 95 n.) that William de Mohun was already an earl in 
June, 1141, though the Gtsta assigns his creation to the siege of Winchester, 
later in the year. 

^ Buckingham is a most difficult and obscure title, and is only inserted 
here cavendi causa. Northampton, also, and Huntingdon are most trouble- 
some titles, owing to the double set of earls with their conflicting claims, and 
the doubt as to tiieir correct title. 


for his title, because Essex had ah^eady been given to Geoifrey, 
while Suffolk was included in the earldom of Hugh, as " Earl 
of the East Angles." So, too. Miles of Gloucester must have 
selected Hereford, because Gloucester was already the title of 
his lord. Aubrey de Vere, coming, as he did, among the later 
of these creations, could not obtain Essex, in which lay his 
chief seat, but sought for Cambridge, in which county he held 
an extensive fief. But here, too, he had been forestalled. He 
had, therefore, to go further afield, receiving his choice of the 
counties of Oxford, Berks, Wilts, or Dorset. And of these he 
chose the nearest, Oxford to wit. Here then we have, I think, 
a definite principle at work, which has never, so far as I know, 
been enunciated before. 

It may have been observed that I assume throughout that 
each earl is the earl of a county. It would not be possible here 
to discuss this point in detail, so I will merely give it as my 
own conviction that while comital rank was at this period 
so far a personal dignity that men spoke of Earl Hugh, Earl 
Gilbert, or Earl Geoffrey, yet that an earl without a county 
was a conception that had not yet entered into the minds of 
men.^ In this, of course, we have a relic of the earl's official 
character. To me, therefore, the struggles of antiquaries to 
solve puzzles of their own creation as to the correct names 
of earldoms are but waste of paper and ink, and occasionally, 
even, of brain-power. " Earl William " might be spoken of 
by that style only, or he might be further distinguished by 
adding "of Arundel," "of Chichester," or "of Sussex." But 
his earldom was not affected or altered by any such distinctive 
addition to his style. A firm grasp of the broad principle 
which I have set forth above should avoid a,ny possibility of 
trouble or doubt on the question. 

But, keeping close to the "fiscal earls," let us now see 
whether, as alleged, they were deposed by Henry II., and, if 
so, to what extent. 

According to Dr. Stubbs, " amongst the terms of pacifica- 

^ This view is not affected by the fact that two or even more counties (as 
in the case of Waltheof s earldom) might be, officially, linked together, for 
where this arrangement had lingered on, the group might (or might not) be 
treated as one county, as regarded the earl. Warwick and Leicester are 
an instance one way ; Norfolk and Suffolk the other. 



tion which were intended to bind both Stephen and Henry . . . 
the new earldoms [were] to be extinguished." ^ Consequently, 
on his accession as king, " Henry was bound to annul the 
titular creations of Stephen, and it was by no means certain 
within what limits the promise would be construed." ^ But 
I cannot find in any account of the said terms of pacification 
any allusion whatever to the supposed " fiscal earls." Nor 
indeed does Dr. Stubbs himself, in his careful analysis of these 
terms,^ include anything of the kind. The statement is there- 
fore, I presume, a retrospective induction. 

The fact from which must have been inferred the existence 
of the above promise is that " cashiering of the supposititious 
earls " which rests, so far as I can see, on the statement of a 
single chronicler.* Yet that statement, for what it is worth, 
is sufficiently precise to warrant Dr. Stubbs in saying that " to 
abolish the ' fiscal ' earldoms " was among the first of Henry's 
reforms.^ The actual words of our great historian should, in 
justice, be here quoted : — 

** Another measure which must " "We have no record of actual dis- 

have been taken at the coronation placement ; some, at least, of the 

[December 19, 1154], when all there- fiscal earls retained their dignity: 

cognized earls did their homage and the earldoms of Bedford, Somerset, 

paid their ceremonial services, seems York, and perhaps a few others, drop 

to have been the degrading or cashier- out of the list ; those of Essex and 

ing of the supposititious earls created Wilts remain. Some had already 

by Stephen and Matilda. Some of made their peace with the king; 

these may have obtained recognition some, like Aubrey de Vere, obtained 

by getting new grants ; but those a new charter for their dignity : this 

who lost endowment and dignity at part of the social reconstruction was 

once, like William of Ypres, the despatched without much complaint 

leader of the Flemish mercenaries, or difficulty " (Const. Eist.y i. 451). 
could make no terms. They sank to 
the rank from which they had been 
so incautiously raised" {Early Plan- 
tagenetSy pp. 41, 42). 

Before examining these statements, I must deal with the 
assertion that William of Ypres was a fiscal earl who " lost 

» Select Charters, pp. 20, 21. Cf. Early Plants., p. 37: "All property 
alienated from the Crown was to be resumed, especially the pensions on the 
Exchequer with which Stephen endowed his newly created earls." 

2 Const. Hist, i. 451. 3 ^^;^^ i 333^ 334. 

* Robert de Monte. * Select Charters, p. 21. 


endowment and dignity at once." That he ever obtained an 
English earldom I have already ventured to deny ; that he lost 
his " endowment " at Henry's accession I shall now proceed to 
disprove. It is a further illustration of the danger attendant 
on a blind following of the chroniclers that the expulsion of 
the Flemings, and the fall of their leader, are events which are 
always confidently assigned to the earliest days of Henry's 
reign.^ For though Stephen died in October, 1154, it can be 
absolutely proved by record evidence that William of Ypres 
continued to enjoy his rich " endowment " down to Easter, 
1157.^ Stephen had, indeed, provided well for his great and 
faithful follower, quartering him on the county of Kent, where 
he held ancient demesne of the Crown to the annual value of 
£261 " blanch," pZws £178 85. Id. '' numero " of Crown escheats 
formerly belonging to the Bishop of Bayeux. Such a pro- 
vision was enormous for the time at which it was made. 

Returning now to the " cashiering " of the earls, it will be 
noticed that Dr. Stubbs has great difficulty in producing 
instances in point, and can find nothing answering to any 
general measure of the kind. But I am prepared to take firm 
ground, and boldly to deny that a single man, who enjoyed 
comital rank at the death of Stephen, can be shown to have 
lost that rank under Henry II. 

Rash though it may seem thus to impugn the conclusions 
of Dr. Stubbs in toto, the facts are inexorably clear. Indeed, 
the weakness of his position is manifest when he seeks evidence 
for its support from a passage in the Polycraticics : — 

*' The following passage of the Polycraticus probably refers to the 
transient character of the new dignities, although some of the persons men- 
tioned in it were not of Stephen's promoting : " Ubi sunt, ut de domesticis 
loquar, Gaufridus, Milo, Kanulfus, Alanus, Simon, Gillibertus, non tarn 
comites regni quam bostes publici? Ubi Willelmus Sarisberiensis?" {Const. 
Hist.^ i. 451 note), 

^ The chroniclers are positive on the point. At the opening of 1155, 
writes Gervase (i. 161), " Guillelmus de Ypre et omnes fere Flandrenses qui 
in Angliani confluxerant, indignatiouem et maguaniraitatem novi regis 
raetuentes, ab Anglia recesserunt." So, too, Fitz Stephen asserts that " infra 
tres primos menses coronationis regis "VVillelmus de Ypra violentus incubator 
Cantise cum lachrymis emigravit." 

2 Pipe-KoUs, 2 and 3 Hen. 11. (published 1844). 


For this passage has nothing to do with " the transient 
character of the new dignities " : it alludes to a totally different 
subject, the death of certain magnates, and is written in the 
spirit of Henry of Huntingdon's Be Contemptu Mundi} The 
magnates referred to are Geoffrey, Earl of Essex (d. 1144) ; 
Miles, Earl of Hereford (d. 1143) ; Kandulf, Earl of Chester 
(d. 1153) ; Count Alan of Richmond (d. 1146 ?) ; Simon, Earl 
of Northampton (d. 1153) ; and Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke 
(d. 1148).^ Their names alone are sufficient to show that the 
passage has been misunderstood, for no one could suggest that 
the Earl of Chester or Earl Simon, Waltheof's heir, enjoyed 
"new dignities," or that their earldoms proved of a "transient 
character." ^ 

Of the three cases of actual displacement tentatively selected 
by Dr. Stubbs, Bedford may be at once rejected; for Hugh de 
Beaumont had lost the dignity (so far as he ever possessed it*), 
together with the fief itself, in 1141.^ York requires separate 
treatment : William of Aumale sometimes, but rarely, styled him- 
self, under Stephen, Earl of York; he did not, however, under 
Henry II., lose his comital rank,^ and that is sufficient for my 

^ Compare also the moralizing of Ordericus on the death of William fitz 
Osbern (1071): "Ubi est Guillelmus Osberni filius, Herfordensis comes et 
Regis vicarius," etc. 

2 This is the date given for his death iu the Tintern Chronicle (Monas- 
ticon, O. E., i. 725). 

3 "William of Salisbury" was a deceased magnate, but is mentioned 
by himself in the above passage because he was not an earl As he is over- 
looked by genealogists, it may be well to explain who he was. He fought 
for the Empress at the siege of Winchester, where he was taken prisoner by 
the Earl of Hertford (Will Malms., ed. Stubbs, ii. 587). He was also the 
"Willelmus . . . civitatis Saresbirise prseceptor . . . et municeps" (Gesta, 
ed. Hewlett, p. 96), who took part in the attack on Wilton nunnery in 1143, 
and "lento tandem cruciatu tortus interiit." This brings us to a document 
in the register of St, Osmund (i. 237), in which " Walterus, Edwardi vice- 
comitis filius, et Sibilla uxor mea et lieres noster Comes Patricius " make 
a grant to the church of Salisbury " nominatim pro anima Willelmi filii 
nostri fratris comitis Patricii in restauramentum dampnorum quae praenomi- 
natus filius noster Willelmus Sarum ecclesie fecerit." The paternity of William 
is thus established. 

* I have never found him attesting any charter as an earl, though this 
does not, of course, prove that he never did so. 
' Gesta (ed. Howlett), pp. 32, 73. 
« Aumale (" Albemarle ") is notoriously a difficult title, as one of those 


purpose. The earldom of Dorset (or Somerset) is agaia a 
special case. Its existence is based — (1) on *' Earl William de 
Mohun " appearing as a witness in June, 1141; (2) on the 
statement in the Gesta tliat he was made Earl of Dorset in 
1141 ; (3) on his founding Bruton Priory, as " William de 
Mohun, Earl of Somerset," in 1142. The terms of the charter 
to Earl Aubrey may imply a doubt as to the status of this 
earldom, even in 1142, but, in any case, it does not subse- 
quently occur, so far as is at present known, and there is 
nothing to connect the disappearance of the title with the 
accession of Henry 11.^ 

Such slight evidence as we have on the dealings of Henry 
with the earls is opposed to the view that anything was done, 
as suggested, "at the coronation" (December 19, 1154). It 
was not, we have seen, till January, 1156, that charters were 
granted dealing with the earldoms of Essex and of Oxford. 
And it can only have been when some time had elapsed since 
the coronation that Hugh Bigod obtained a charter creating 
him anew Earl of Norfolk.^ 

To sum up the result of this inquiry, we have now seen that 
no such beings as "fiscal" earls ever existed. No chronicler 
mentions the name, and their existence is based on nothing but 
a false assumption. Stephen did not " incautiously " confer on 
men in a state of " poverty " the dignity of earl ; he did not 
make provision for them by Exchequer pensions ; no promise 
was made, in the terms between Henry and himself, to degrade 
or cashier any such earls ; and no proof exists that any were 
so cashiered when Henry came to the throne. Indeed, we may 
go further and say that Stephen's earldoms all continued, and 
that their alleged abolition, as a general measure, has been here 
absolutely disproved. 

of which the bearer enjoyed comital rank, though whether as a Norman 
coujDt or as an English earl, it is, at first, difficult to decide. Eventually, of 
course, the dignity became an English earldom. 

^ Nor was it an earldom of Stephen's creation. 

" It was granted at Northampton. Its date is of importance as proving 
that the charter to the Earl of Arundel, being attested by Hugh as earl, 
must be of later date. Mr. Eyton, however, oddly enough, reverses the order 
of the two (Itinerary of Henry II., pp. 2, 3). He was thus misled by an 
error in the witnesses to the Earl of Arundel's charter, which Foss had 
acutely detected and explained long before. 

( 278 ) 



(See p. 55.) 

The true date of this event is involved in considerable obscurity. 
The two most detailed versions are those of "William of Malmes- 
bury and of the Continuator of Florence of Worcester. The 
former states precisely that the Ecclesiastical Council lasted 
from August 29 to September 1 (1139), and that the Empress 
landed, at Arundel, on September 30 ; the latter gives no date 
for the council, but asserts that the Empress landed, at Ports- 
mouth, before August 1 — that is, two months earlier. These 
grave discrepancies have been carefully discussed by Mr. Hew- 
lett,^ though he fails to note that the Continuator is thoroughly 
consistent in his narrative, for he subsequently makes the 
Empress remove from Bristol, after spending "more than two 
months " there, to Grioucester in the middle of October. He 
is, however, almost certainly wrong in placing the landing at 
Portsmouth,^ and no less mistaken in placing it so early in the 
year. The " in autumno " of Ordericus clearly favours William 
rather than the Continuator. 

Mr. Hewlett, in his detailed investigation of this " exceed- 
ingly complex chronological difficulty," endeavours to exalt the 
value of the Gesta by laying peculiar stress on its mention 
of Baldwin de Eedvers' landing, as suggestive of a fresh con- 
jecture. Urging that " Baldwin's was in very truth the main 
army of invasion," he advances the 

"theory that the expedition came in two sections, for the Gesta Stephani 
say that Baldwin de Redvers arrived ' forti militum caterva,' as no doubt 

* Introduction to Gesta Stephani, pp. xxi.-xxv. 

' The Gesta and Robert " De Mont« " concur with William that it was at 


he did, for it was only his presence in force that could render the coming of 
Maud and her brother with twenty or thirty retainers anything else than 
an act of madness." 

Here we see the danger of catching at a phrase. For if 
the Gesta says that Baldwin landed " forti militum caterva " 
(p. 63), it also asserts that the Empress came "cum robusta 
militum manu " (p. 55) — a phrase which Mr. Howlett ignores — 
while it speaks of her son, in later years, arriving " cum florida 
militum caterva," when, according to Mr. Howlett, "his follow- 
ing was small" (p. xvii.), and when, indeed, the Gesta itself 
(p. 129) explains that this "florida militum caterva" was in 
truth "militum globum exiguum." Bat this is not all. Mr. 
Howlett speaks, we have seen, of " twenty or thirty retainers," 
and asserts that " Malmesbury and Robert of Torigny agree 
that he [Earl Robert] had but a handful of men — twenty, or 
even twelve as the former has it " (p. xxiv.). It is difficult to 
see how he came to do so, for William of Malmesbury distinctly 
states that he brought with him, not twelve, but a hundred 
and forty knights,^ and, in his recapitulation of the earl's 
conduct, repeats the same number. Now, if the Gesta admits 
that the little band of knights who accompanied, in later 
years, the young Henry to England, was swollen by rumour 
to many thousands,^ surely it is easy to understand how the 
hundred and forty knights, who accompanied the earl to 
England, were swollen by rumour (when it reached the Con- 
tinuator of Florence of Worcester) to a "grandis exercitus," — 
without resorting to Mr. Hewlett's far-fetched explanation 
that the Continuator confused the two landings and imagined 
that the Empress had arrived with Baldwin, who " landed at 
Wareham . . . about August 1." But if he was so ill informed, 
what is the value of his evidence ? And indeed, his statement 
that she landed " at Portsmouth " (not, be it observed, at Ware- 
ham, nor with Baldwin) places him out of court, for it is 
accepted by no one. Mr. Howlett offers the desperate expla- 
nation, which he terms " no strained conjecture," that " Earl 

' " Centum et quadraginta milites tunc secum adduxit." 

' " Ut fama adventus ejus se latins, sicut solet, diffunderet, multa scilicet 

raillia secum adduxisse . . . postquam certum fuit . . , militum eum globum 

exiguum, non autem exercitum adduxisse" (p. 130). 


Roloert went on bj sea to Portsmouth," a gaess for which there 
is no basis or, indeed, probability, and which, even if admitted, 
would be no explanation ; for the Continuator takes the Empress 
and her brother to Portsmouth fii^st and to Arandel afterwards. 
The real point to strike one in the matter is that the 
Empress should have landed in Sussex when her friends were 
awaitino" her in the west — for Mr. Howlett fails to realize that 
she trusted to them and not to an "army " of her own.^ The 
most probable explanation, doubtless, is that she hoped to 
evade Stephen, while he was carefully guarding the roads 
leadino' from the south-western coast to Gloucester and Bristol. 


Robert of Torigny distinctly implies that Stephen had effectually 
closed the other ports (" Appulerunt itaque apud Harundel, 
quia tunc alium portum non habebant"). 

In any case Mr. Hewlett's endeavour to harmonize the two 
conflicting dates — the end of July and the end of September — 
by suggesting as a compromise the end of August, cannot be 
pronounced a success.^ 

It may afford, perhaps, some fresh light if we trace the 
king's movements after the arrival of the Empress. 

Though the narratives of the chroniclers for the period 
between the landing of the Empress and the close of 1139 are 
at first sight difficult to reconcile, and, in any case, hard to 
understand, it is possible to unravel the sequence of events 
by a careful collation of their respective versions, aided by 
study of the topography and of other relative considerations. 

^ William of Malmesbury, who was well informed, lays stress on this, 
describing the earl as " fretus pietate Dei et fide legitimi sacramenti ; cete- 
rum multo minore armorum apparatu quam quis alius tarn periculosum 
bellum aggredi temptaret ... in sancti spiritus et dominse sanctse Marias 
patroeinio totus pendulus erat." 

2 Mr. Freeman {^orm. Conq., v. 291) takes the place of landing (Ports- 
mouth) from the one account, and the date (September 30) from the other, 
without saying so. I notice this because it is characteristic. Thus Mr. James 
Parker {Early History of Oxford, p. 191) observes of Mr. Freeman's account 
of the Conqueror's advance on London : " Though by leaving out here and 
there the discrepancies, tke residue may be worked up into a consecutive and 
consistent series of events, such a process amounts to making history, not 
writing it. Amidst a mass of contradictory evidence it is impossible to arrive 
at any sure conclusion. ... It is, liowever, comparatively easy to piece 
together such details as will fit out of the various stories; and more easy 
still to discover reasons for the results which such mosaic work produces." 


On the landing of the Empress, the Earl of Gloucester, 
leaving her at Arundel, proceeded to Bristol {Will. Malms., 
p. 725). Stephen, who, says Florence's Continuator (p. 117), 
was then besieging Marlborough, endeavoured to intercept him 
(Gesta, p. 56), but, failing in this, returned to besiege the 
Empress at Arundel (ihid. ; Gont. Flor. Wig., p. 117; Gervase, i. 
110). Desisting, however, from this siege, he allowed her to 
set out for Bristol.^ Meanwhile, her brother, on his way to 
Bristol, had held a meeting with Brian fitz Count (^Will. 
Malms., p. 725), and had evidently arranged with him a con- 
certed plan of action (it must be remembered that they intended 
immediate revolt, for they had promised the Empress possession 
of her realm within a few months^). Brian had, accordingly, 
returned to Wallingford, and declared at once for the Empress 
{Gesta, p. 58). Stephen now marched against him, but either 
by the advice of his followers {ibid.) or from impatience at the 
tedium of the siege,* again abandoned his undertaking, and 
leaving a detachment to blockade Brian {Gont. Flor. Wig., p. 118), 
marched west, himself, to strike at the centre of the revolt. He 
first attacked and captured Cerney (near Cirencester), a small 
fortress of Miles of Gloucester {Gesta, p. 59; Will. Malms., 
p. 726), and was then called south to Malmesbury by the news 
that Robert fitz Hubert had surprised it (on the 7th of October) 
and expelled his garrison {Will. Malms., p. 726; Gont. Flor. 
Wig.-, p. 119; Gesta, p. 59). Recovering the castle, within a 
fortnight of its capture {Will. Malms., p. 726), after besieging 
it eight days {Gont. Flor. Wig., p. 125), he was then decoyed 
still further south by the news that Humphrey de Bohun, at the 
instigation of Miles, had garrisoned Trowbridge against him. 
Here, however, he was not so fortunate ( Will. Malms., p. 726 ; 
Gesta, p. 59). In the meanwhile Miles of Gloucester, with the 
instinct of a born warrior, had seized the opportunity thus 
afforded him, and, striking out boldly from his stronghold at 
Gloucester, marched to the relief of Brian fitz Count. Burst- 
ing by night on the blockading force, he scattered them in all 
directions, and returned in triumph to Gloucester {Gesta, p. 60). 
It was probably the tidings of this disaster (though the fact is 

' See p. 55. 2 Cont. Flor. Wig., p. 115. 

* "Obsidionis diutiuse pertsesus" (ibid., p. 118). 


not so stated) that induced Stephen to abandon his unsuccessful 
siege of Trowbridge, and retrace his steps to the Thames 
valley (ibid., pp. 61, 62). This must have been early in 

Seizing his chance, the active Miles again sallied forth from 
Gloucester, but this time toward the north, and, on the 7th of 
November, sacked and burnt Worcester (Cont. Flor.Wig., pp. 118- 
120). About the same time he made himself master of Hereford 
and its county for the Empress (Will. Malms., p. 727 ; Gesta, 
p. 61). Stephen was probably in the Thames valley when he 
received news of this fresh disaster, which led him once more 
to march west. Advancing from Oxford, he entered Worcester, 
and beheld the traces of the enemy's attack (Cont. Flor. Wig.i 
p. 121). After a stay there of a few days, he heard that the 
enemy had seized Hereford and were besieging his garrison in 
the castle (ihid.).^ He therefore advanced to Leominster by 
way of Little Hereford,^ but Advent Sunday (December 3) 
having brought about a cessation of hostilities, he retraced his 
steps to Worcester (ibid.). Thence, after another brief stay, 
he marched back to Oxford, probably making for Wallingford 
and London. Evidently, however, on reaching Oxford, he 
received news of the death of Roger, Bishop of Salisbury.* It 

* It is an instance of the extraordinary confusion, at this point, in the 
chroniclers that the author of the Gesta makes him go from Trowbridge to 
London, and thence to Ely, omitting all the intervening events, which will 
be found set forth above. 

• k 2 « Fama volante regiae majestati nunciatur inimicos suos, juratae quidem 
pacis violatores Herefordiam invasisse, monasterium S. ^thelberti regis et 
martyris, velut in castellinum munimen penetrasse." It seems absolutely 
certain, especially if we add the testimony of the other MSS., that this pas- 
sage refers to the attack on the royal garrison in the castle so graphically 
described by the author of the Gesta, but (apparently) placed by him among 
the events of the summer of the following year. As, however, his narrative 
breaks off just at this point, his sequence of events is left uncertain, and in 
any case the chronology of the local chronicler, who here writes as an eye- 
witness, must be preferred to his. 

' This passage (p. 121) should be compared with that on pp. 123, 124 
(" Rex et comes . . . Oxenefordiam "), which looks extremely like a repetition 
of it (as the passage on pp. 110, 111 is an anticipation of that on pp. 116, 

* Assigned to December 11 by William of Malmesbury (p. 727), and to 
December 4 by the Continuator (p. 113). The above facts are rather in 
favour of the former of the two dates. 


was probably this which led him to keep his Christmas at 
Salisbury. Thither, therefore, he proceeded from Oxford, re- 
turning at the close of the year to Reading (ihid.). 

The question, then, it will be seen, is this. Assuming, as 
we must do, that William of Malmesbury is right in the date 
he assigns to Stephen's visit to Malmesbury and recovery of 
Malmesbury Castle, is it consistent with the date he assigns to 
the landing of the Empress and her brother ? That is to say, 
is it possible that the events which, we have seen, must have 
occurred between the above landing and Stephen's visit to 
Malmesbury can have been all comprised within the space of a 
fortnight ? This is a matter of opinion on which I do not 

( 284 ) 



(See p. 65.) 

Miss Norgate assigns this event to the early summer of the 
year 1138,^ on the authority of Gervase of Canterbury (i. 104). 
The statement of that writer is clear enough, but it is also 
clear that he made it on the authority of the Continuator of 
Florence. Now, the Continuator muddled in inextricable con- 
fusion the events of 1138 and 1139. In this he was duly fol- 
lowed by Gervase, who gives us, under 1138, first the arrest of 
the bishops at Oxford (June, 1139), then the diffidatio of the 
Earl of Gloucester, next the revolt of 1138 and the defection 
of Miles, next the invitation to the Empress (1139), followed by 
the Battle of the Standard (1138), and lastly the death of the 
Bishop of Salisbury (December, 1139). This can be clearly 
traced to the Continuator,^ and conclusive evidence, if required, 
is afforded by the fact that Gervase, like the Continuator, 
travels again over the same ground under 1139. Thus the 
defection of Miles is told twice over, as will be seen from these 
parallel extracts : — 

CoNT. Flor. "Wig. Gerv. Cant. 

(1138.) (1138.) 

" Interim facta conjuratione ad- " Qui [Comes Glaornensis] . . . 

versus regem per predictum Bryc- fidei et sacramentis quibus regi tene- 
stoweusem comitem et conestabula- batur renuntiavit. . . . Milo quoque 
rium Milonem, abnegata fidehtate princeps militise regis avertit se a 
quam illi juraverant, missis nuutiis rege, . . . Interea conjuratio in re- 
ad Andegavensem civitatem aceer- gem facta per comitem Glaornen- 
sunt ex-imperatricem," etc., etc. sem et Milonem summum regis con- 

stabularium invaluit, nam missis 
nuutiis . . . asciverunt ex-imperatri- 
cem," etc., etc. 

^ England under the Angevin Kings, i. 295. 
2 Ed. Eng. Hist. Soc., ii. 107-113. 


(1139.) (1139.) 

"Milo constabularius, regise ma- "Milo regis constabularius multi- 

jestati redditis fidei sacramentis, ad que procerum cum multa militura 

dominum suum, comitem Glouces- manu ab obsequio regis recesserunt, 

trensera, cum grandi manu militum et pristinis fidei sacramentis innova- 

se contulit, illi spondens in fide tis ad partem imperatricis tuendam 

auxilium contra regem exhibitu- conversi sunt." 

It is obvious from these extracts tliat the Continuator tells 
the tale of the constable's diffidatio and defection twice over ; 
it is further obvious, from his own evidence, that the second of 
the two dates (1139) is the right one, for he tells us that so 
late as February, 1139, Stephen gave Gloucester Abbey to 
Gilbert Foliot "petente constabulario suo Milone."^ When 
we find that this event is assigned by the author of the Gesta 
to 1139, that the constableship of Miles was not transferred to 
William de Beau champ till the latter part of 1139, and that 
Miles is not mentioned among the rebels in 1138 (though his 
importance would preclude his omission), nor is any attack on 
Gloucester assigned to Stephen in that year, we may safely 
decide that the defection of Miles did not take place till the 
arrival of the Empress in 1139. 

Since writing the above I have noted the presence of Miles 
of Gloucester among the followers of Stephen at the siege of 
Shrewsbury (August, 1138).^ This is absolutely conclusive, 
proving as it does that Miles was still on the king's side in the 
revolt of 1138. 

' ii. 114. Miss Norgate, having accepted the date of 1138 for the 
defection of Miles, finds it diflScult to explain this passage. She writes 
(i. 494) : " Stephen's consent to his appointment can hardly have been 
prompted by favour to Miles, who had openly defied the king a year ago." 

^ Charter dated in third year of Stephen, "Apud Salopesbiriam in 
obsidione " (Nero, 0. iii. fol. 177). 

( 286 ) 



(See p. 87.) 

As this charter is not included in Mr. Birch's Fasciculus, and 
is therefore practically unknown, I here give it in extenso from 
the Cartse Antiquse (K. 24). It will be observed that, of its six 
witnesses, five attest the Westminster charter to Geoffrey de 
Mandeville. The sixth is Humfrey de Bohun, a frequent 
witness to charters of the Empress. This charter is preceded 
in the Cartse Antiqiise by enrolments of two charters to the 
grantee's predecessors from William Rufus and Henry I. 
respectively. The " service " of Albany de Hairon, a Herts 
tenant-in-capite, is an addition made by the Empress to these 
grants of her predecessors. The cartse of 1166 prove that it 
was subsequently ignored. 

" M. Imperatrix regis H. filia archiepiscopis episcopis abba- 
tibus comitibus baronibus justiciariis vicecomitibus ministris 
et omnibus fidelibus suis Francis et Anglis tocius Anglie salu- 
tem. Sciatis me reddidisse et concessisse Rogero de Valoniis 
in feodo et hereditate sibi et heredibus suis Esendonam et 
Begefordiam et molendina Heortfordie et servitium Albani de 
Haii'on et omnes alias terras et tenaturas patris sui sicut pater 
suus eas tenuit die qua fuit vivus et mortuus et preter hoc 
quicquid modo tenet de quocunque teneat. Quare volo et 
firmiter precipio quod bene et in pace et honorifice et libere 
et quiete teneat in bosco et piano in pratis et pascuis in turbariis 
in via et semita in exitibus in aquis et molendinis in vivariis 
et stagnis in foro et navium applicationibus infra burgum et 
extra cum socha et saka et thol et theam et infanenethef et 
cum omnibus liber tatibus et consuetudinibus et quietantiis cum 
quibus pater suus melius et quietius et liberius tenuit tempore 
patris mei regis Henrici et ipse post patrem. T. R[oberto] 
Com[ite] Gloec[estrie] et M[ilone] Gloec[estrie] et Brientio 
fil[io] Com[itis] et Rad[ulfo] Painel et Walchel[ino] Maminot 
et Humfr[ido] de Buh[un] apud Westmonasterium." 

( 2^7 ) 



(See p. 97.) 

Special researcH has led me to discover that all our historians 
are in error in their accounts of this institution. 

The key to the enquiry will be found in the fact that the 
term " tertius denarius " had two distinct denotations ; that is 
to say, was used in two different senses. Dr. Stubbs and Mr. 
Freeman have both failed to grasp this essential fact. The two 
varieties of the " tertius denarius " were these : — 

(1) The " tertius denarius placitorum comitatus." This 
is the recognized " third penny " of which historians speak. 
Observe that this was not, as it is sometimes loosely termed, 
and as, indeed, Gneist describes it, " the customary third of 
the revenues of the county," ^ but, as Dr. Stubbs accurately 
terms it, " the third penny of the pleas." ^ So here the Empress 
grants to Geoffrey de Mandeville " tertium denarium vice- 
comitatus de placitis " (cf. p. 239). This distinction is all- 
important, for " the pleas " only represented a small portion of 
the total " revenues of the county " as compounded for in the 
sheriff's firma. 

(2) The "tertius denarius redditus burgi." This "third 
penny," which has been strangely confused with the other, 
differs from it in these two respects. Firstly, it is that, not of 
the pleas ("placitorum"), but of the total revenues ("red- 
ditus") ; secondly, it is that, not of the county ("comitatus"), 
but of a town alone ("burgi"). 

This distinction, which is absolutely certain from Domesday 
and from record evidence, is fortunately shown, with singular 

^ Constitutional History, i. 139. * Ihid.^ i. 363. 


clearness, in the charter of the Empress to Miles of Gloucester, 
creating him Earl of Hereford. In it she grants — 

"Tertium denarium redditus burgi Hereford quicquid unquam reddat,' 
et tertium denarium placitorum totius comitatus Hereford." 

Nor is it less clear in the charter (1155), by which Henry II. 
creates Hugh Bigod Earl of Norfolk "scilicet de tercio denario 
de Norwic et de Norfolca." 

Now, let ns trace how the " tertius denarius redditus burgi " 
has been erroneously taken for the " tertius denarius placitorum 
totius comitatus," the only recognized "third penny." 

Dr. Stubbs writes : " The third penny of the county which 
had been a part of the profits of the English earls is occasionally 
referred to in Domesday."^ The passage on which this state- 
ment is based is found earlier in the volume. Our great 
historian there writes : — 

"Each shire was under an ealdorman, who sat with the sheriff and 
bishop in the folkmoot, and received a third part of the profits of jurisdiction. 
(The third penny of the county appears from Domesday [i. 1. 26, 203, 246, 
252, 280, 298, 336] to have been paid to the earl in the time of Edward the 
Confessor. — Ellis, Introduction to Domesday, i. 167)."^ 

The argument that the ealdorman, or earl, of the days before 
the Conquest, received "a third part of the profits of juris- 
diction " in the county, rests here, it will be seen, wholly on 
the evidence of Domesday. But in six of the eight passages 
on which Dr. Stubbs relies we are distinctly dealing, not with 
the county (" comitatus "), but with a single town ("burgus"). 
These are Dover, Lewes, Huntingdon, Stafford, Shrewsbury, 
and Lincoln. In these, therefore, the third penny could only 
be that of the redditus burgi, not of the placita comitatus.* 
Huntingdon is specially a case in point, for there the earl 
received a third of each of the items out of which the render 

* This insured him his participation pro rata in any future increase 
(" crementum ") of the render. 

2 Const. Hist., i. 361. ^ Ibid., p. 113. 

* We must, further, observe that, of these six, Lewes, of which we are not 
told if, or how, its redditus was divided before the Conquest, and Shrews- 
bury, of which we are told that the "third penny" of its redditus went, not 
to the earl, but to the sheriff (" Tempore Eegis E . . . duas partes habebat 
rex et vicecomes tertiam ") are not in point for the earl's share. 


(" redditus ") of the town was composed. The only cases of 
those mentioned which could possibly concern the third penny 
" placitorum comitatus " are those of Yorkshire (298), Lincoln- 
shire (336), and Nottinghamshire with Derbyshire (280). 
Even in these, however, " the third penny of the pleas " is only 
vaguely implied, the passages referring to a peculiar system 
which has, I believe, never obtained the attentive study it 
deserves. This system was confined to the Danish district, to 
which these counties all belonged. 

The main point, however, which we have to keep in view 
is that " the third penny " of the revenues of the town has 
nothing to do with "the third penny" of the 'pleas of the 
county, and that the passages in Domesday concerning the 
former must not be quoted as evidence for the latter. I do not 
find that Ellis (Introduction, i. 167, 168) is responsible for so 
taking them, but Dr. Stubbs, as we have seen, clearly confused 
the two kinds of tertius denarius, and we find that Mr. Freeman 
does the same when he tells us that at Exeter " six pounds — 
that is, the earl's third penny — went to the Sheriff Baldwin."^ 

We are reminded by this last instance that not only the 
earl, but the sheriff, was concerned with " the third penny " of 
the revenues of the town. This — which (I would here again 
repeat) is not the earl's " third penny " to which historians 
allude — sometimes, as for instance at Shrewsbury and Exeter, 
fell to the sheriff's share. Dr. Stubbs mentions the case of 
Shrewsbury only, and takes it as evidence that " the sheriff 
as well as the ealdorman was entitled to a share of the profits 
of administration." ^ 

This third penny " redditus burgi " is in Domesday absolutely 
erratic. In the Wiltshire and Somersetshire towns, it seems 
to have been held by the king himself, though at Cricklade 
both he and Westminster Abbey are credited with it (64 h, &7). 
At Leicester it was held by Hugh de Grantmesnil, but we are 
not told by what right (i. 230). At Stafford it had been held 

1 Exeier, p. 43 (cf. p. 55). 

* This passage appears to imply that Dr. Stubbs, who sees in the "third 
penny" of the county the perquisite of the earl, would look on tliat of the 
borough as the perquisite of the sheriff. But the latter, as we have seen, 
was held, as a rule, by the earl, though occasionally by the sheriff. 



by the English earl, and had fallen with his estates to the 
Crown. The Conqueror kept it, but, halving his own two-thirds 
share, made a fresh "third," which he granted to Robert de 
Stafford.^ At Ipswich it had, with the " tertius denarius [i.e. 
placitorum] de duobus hundret," been annexed to an estate 
held by the local earl. The whole of this was granted by the 
Conqueror to his follower. Earl Alan.^ At Worcester, by a 
curious arrangement, the total render had been divided, in un- 
equal portions, between the king and the earl, while a third of 
the whole was received by the bishop. At Fordwich " the 
third penny " fell to Bishop Odo, and was bestowed by him, with 
the king's consent, on St. Augustine's, Canterbury, to which 
the other two-thirds had been given already by the Confessor. 
The case of Bristol has led Mr. Freeman into a characteristic 
error. We read in Domesday : — 

" Burgenses dicunt qnod episcopus G. habet xxxiii marcaa argenti et 
tinam marcam auri p[re]ter firmam regis" (i. 163). 

Mr. Freeman, who is never weary of insisting on the value of 
Domesday, is clearly not so familiar as one could wish with its 
normal contractions, for he renders the closing words " propter 
firmam reo:is." On this he observes : " This looks like the earl's 
third penny ; but Greoffrey certainly had no formal earldom in 
Gloucestershire." ^ When we substitute for the meaningless 
" propter " the right reading " preter " (" in addition to"), we 
see at once that the figures given no longer suggest a "third 

Leaving now the third penny of the revenues of the country 
town, let us turn our attention to that of the pleas of the whole 
county. Independent of the system in the Danelaw to which 
I have referred above, we have two references in Domesday to 

^ This has been strangely misunderstood by Mr. Eyton in his analysis 
of the Staffordshire survey. See my paper in Domesday Studies. 

^ Domesday, ii. 280, 294. We read of Alan's heir, Conan, in 1156, " Comiti 
Conano de tercio denario Comit' ix li. et x sol" (Bot. Pip , 2 Hen. II., p. 8). 
It is a singular circumstance that Eobert de Torigny alludes to this under 
1171, when, at the death of Conan, " tota Britannia, et comitatus de Gippewis 
[Ipswich], et honor Richemundie " passed to the king, — and still more 
singular that his latest editor, Mr. Howlett, identifies " Gippewis " with 
Guinsramp (p. 391). 

3 Will. Rufus, i. 40. 


this ^' third penny." Firstly, the " tercius denarius de tota 
scira Dorsete " (i. 75) ; secondly (in the case of Warwickshire) 
" tercio denario placitornm sirae " (i. 278), yet neither of these is 
among the cases appealed to by Dr. Stubbs. Now, the curious 
point about them is that in neither instance was the right 
annexed to the dignity of earl, but to a certain manor, which 
manor was held by the earl. That is to say, he was entitled to this 
*' third penny of the pleas " not qua earl, but qua lord of that 
estate. The distinction is vital. Whether " the third penny 
of the pleas " be that of the whole shire or only of a single 
hundred, it is always attached, under the Confessor, to the 
possession of some manor. We find the " tercius denarius " of 
one, of two, of three, of even six hundreds so annexed.^ This 
peculiarity would seem to have been an essential feature of the 
system, and I need scarcely point out how opposed it is to the 
alleged tenure ex officio in days before the Conquest, or to that 
granted to the earl qua earl under the Norman and Angevin 
kings. Let us seek to learn when the latter institution, the 
recognized " tertius denarius," became first annexed to the 
dignity of earl. 

The prevailing view would seem to be that it was so annexed 
from the first ; that its possession, in fact, was part of, or rather 
was connoted by, the dignity of an earl. Madox held that the 
oldest mode of conferring the dignity of earl, a mode " coeval 
to the Norman Conquest," was by charter ; and he further 
held that " By the charter the king granted to the earl J;he 
tertius denarius comitatus.^^ ^ Dr. Stubbs writes, of the investi- 
ture of earls in the Norman period : — 

*' The idea of official position is not lost sight of, although the third penny 
of the pleas and the sword of the shire alone attest its original character " 
{Const. Hist, i. 363). 

Mr. Freeman puts the case thus : — 

"Earldoms are now in their transitional stage. They have become 
hereditary ; but they carry with them the official perquisite of the ancient 
official earls, the third penny of the king's revenues in the shire." * 

Here it may at once be pointed out that the mistake which I 
referred to at the outset is again made, " the third penny " being 

» Domesday, i. 38 &, 101, 87 h, 186 6, 253 ; ii. 294 h. 

^ Baronia Anglica, pp. 137, 138. ^ Exeter, p. 55. 


described as that not of the pleas, but " of the revenues " of the 
county. Then there is the question whether this perquisite 
was indeed the right of "the ancient official earls." Lastly, we 
must ask whether the earldoms granted in this period did un- 
questionably " carry with them " this " official perquisite." 

To answer this last question, we must turn to our record 
evidence. Now, the very first charter quoted by Madox him- 
self, in support of his own view, is the creation by Stephen of 
the earldom of Essex in favour of Geoffrey de Mandeville. The 
formula there is quite vague. Geoffrey is to hold " bene et in 
pace et libere et quiete et honorifice sicut alii Comites mei de 
terra mea melius vel honorificentius tenent Comitatus suos 
unde Comites sunt." Here there is nothing about the "third 
penny," and we must therefore ask whether its gi^ant is in- 
cluded in the above formula ; that is to say, whether an earl 
received his " third penny " as a mere matter of course. The 
contrary is, it would seem, implied by the special way in which 
the " third penny " is granted him in the charter of the Empress, 
together with the curious added phrase, "sicut comes habere 
debet in comitatu suo." This phrase may, of course, be held 
to imply that an earl had, as earl, a recognized right to the sum, 
but the fact that in the other charters of the Empress (those of 
the earldoms of Hereford and Oxford) the " tertius denarius'' 
is made the subject of a special grant, and that in her son's 
charters it is the same, would suggest that, without such special 
grant, the right was not conveyed. This is the view taken by 
Gneist (who founds, in the main, on Madox) : — 

*' It is only a donatio sub modo, the grant of a permanent income ' for 
the better support of the dignity of an earl ; * it consists in a mere order or 
precept addressed to the sheriff, and is therefore a right of demand, but no 
feudal right, and is accompauied by no investiture." ^ 

That the grant of " the third penny " (of the pleas of the 
county) was not an innovation introduced in this reign, is 
proved by the solitary surviving Pipe-Roll of Henry I., in 
which, however, there is but one mention of this " third penny," 
namely, in the case of the Earl of Gloucester. Indeed, with 
the exception of this entry, and of the special arrangement 

> Const. Hist., i. 139. 


which existed before the Conquest in the Danish districts {ut 
stipra), it maybe said that the charters of the Empress, in 1141, 
represent the first occurrence of this " third penny." 

Again, if we turn to the succeeding reign, we find, though 
the fact appears to have hitherto escaped notice, that, as far 
as the printed Pipe-Rolls take us — that is, for the first few years 
— less than half the existing earls were in receipt of the "third 
penny." Careful examination of the Rolls of 2-7 Hen. II. 
reveals this fact. The earls to whom was paid " the third 
penny of the pleas " were these : Essex, Hertford, Norfolk, 
Gloucester, Wiltshire (Salisbury), Devon, and Sussex. Those 
who are not entered in the Rolls, and who, therefore, it would 
seem, cannot have received it, are Warwick, Leicester, Hunt- 
ingdon, Northampton, Derby (Ferrers), Oxford, Surrey, Chester,^ 
Lincoln, and Cornwall. Thus seven received this sum, and ten 
did not. The inference, of course, from this discovery is that 
the possession of the dignity of an earl did not per se carry with 
it "the third penny of the pleas," the right to which could 
only be conferred by a special grant.^ This, apparently con- 
clusive, evidence illustrates and confirms the words of the 
Dialogus : — 

*' Comes autem est qui tertiara portionem eorum quae de placitis proveniunt 
in quolibet comitatu percipit. Summa namque ilia quae nomine firmse requi- 
ritur a vicecomite tota non exsurgit ex fundorum redditibus, sed ex magna 
parte de placitis provenit ; et horum tertiam partem comes percipit, qui ideo 
sic dici dicitur, quia fisco socius est et comes in percipiendis." 
D. "Nuuquid ex singulis comitatibus comites ista percipiunt." 
M. " Nequaquam : sed hii tantum ista percipiunt, quibus regum muni- 
ficentia, obsequii prsestiti vel eximisB probitatis intuitu comites sibi creat 
et ratione dignitatis illius hssc conferenda decernit, quibusdam hsereditarie, 
quibusdam personaliter." * 

This passage requires to be read as a whole, for the answer 
might easily be differently understood, as indeed it has been 
in the Lords' Reports,* where it is taken to apply to the earls 
as well as to "the third penny." The point is of no small 

* The Palatinate of Chester is, of course, anomalous, and does not, strictly, 
tell either way. 

* In the third and fifth years the Earl of Arundel is entered as receiving 
the third penny " per breve regis." 

' Dialogus de Scaccario, ii. 17. 

* Reports on the Dignity of a Peer, iii. 68. 


importance, for the conclusion drawn is that " both [the 
dignity and the third penny] were either hereditary or per- 
sonal, at the pleasure of the Crown." Careful reading, however, 
will show, I think, that, like the question, the reply deals with 
" the third penny " alone. The " haec conferenda decernit " of 
the latter refers to the " ista " of the former. 

Confirmed as they are by the evidence of the Pipe-Rolls, 
the words of the Dialogus clearly prove that the view I take 
is right, and that Professor Freeman is certainly wrong in 
stating that "earldoms," at this stage, " carry with them the 
third penny." ^ Mr. Hunt, who, here as elsew^here, seems to 
follow Dr. Stubbs, writes that : — 

"The earl still received the third penny of all profits of jurisdiction in 
his county. With this exception, however, the policy of the Norman kings 
stripped the earls of their oflBcial character." * 

This view must now be abandoned, and the total absence 
of any allusion, in Stephen's creation of the earldom of Essex, 
to " the third penny of the pleas," must be taken to imply that 
the charter in question did not convey a right to that sum. 
Thus the charter of the Empress to Geofeey in ll^l remains 
the first record in which that perquisite is granted. 

We should also note that the Dialogus passage establishes 
the fact that the only recognized " third penny " of the earl 
was "the third penny of the pleas," and that the third penny 
" redditus burgi," which, we saw, had been taken for it, is not 
alluded to at all. 

Before leaving this subject it may be well to record the 
sums actually received under this heading : — 

£ s. d. 

Devon ... ... ... 18 6 8 

Essex ... ... ... 40 10 10 

Gloucestershire ... ... 20 

Herts. ... ... ... 33 1 6 

^ Gneist is right in insisting on the fact that an earl was only entitled 
to the " tertius denarius " in virtue of a distinct grant, but he fails to grasp 
the important point that feuch grant was not made to every earl as a matter 
of course, but only as a special favour. He is also, as we have seen, quite 
mistaken as to the extent of tlie third penny (see p. 287). 

* Norman Britain, p. 168. 


£ 6. d. 

Norfolk ... ... ... 28 4 

Sussex ... ... ... 13 6 8 

Wilts. ... ... ... 22 16 7^ 

These figures are sufficient to disprove the view that the 
third penny actually formed an endowment for the dignity of 
an earl, but their chief interest is found in the light they throw 
on the farming of the " pleas," illustrating, as they do, the 
statement in the Dialogus that the sheriff's firma " ex magna 
parte de placitis provenit." For multiplying these sums by 
three we obtain the total for which the pleas were farmed in 
their respective shires. It will be observed that " the third 
penny " is stereotyped in amount, but an important passage 
bearing upon this point is quoted by Madox (Baronia Anglica, 
p. 139) from the Roll of 27 Hen. II. :— 

"Idem Vicecomes redd. comp. de £xxviii de tercio denario Comitatus 
de Legercestria de vii annis prseteritis, qiios Comes Leg. accipere noluit, nisi 
haberet similiter de cremento, sicut prsedecessores sui recipere consueverunt 
tempore Kegis Henrici " (sic). 

The meaning of this entry is that the earl demanded the 
" third penny," not only of the old composition for the " pleas," 
but also of the increased sum now paid for them. The passage, 
of course, is puzzling in its statement that the earl's prede- 
cessors had received *' the third penny," for, so far as the 
printed Rolls take us, they never did so. A similar difficulty 
is caused, in the case of Oxfordshire, by the charter of Henry 
II. (see p. 239) granting to Aubrey de Yere its " third penny " 
" ut sit inde Comes ; " for there is no trace in the printed Rolls 
of such payment being made, and in 7 John the then earl 
actually owes " cc marcas pro habendo tercio denario Comitatus 
Oxoniaa de placitis, et ut sit Comes Oxoniae."^ 

Passing from these perplexing cases, on which we need 
fuller knowledge, we have a simple example in 12 Hen. III., 
when, on the death of the Earl of Essex (February 15, 1228), his 

^ These figures are taken from the Rolls of 2-7 Hen. II., a range 
sufiBciently wide to establish their permanence. Occasionally, as in the case 
of Wilts and Sussex, the " tertius denarius " seems to be omitted for a year or 
two, but this does not affect the general result. 

* Pipe-Roll of John, quoted by Madox (Baronia Anglica, p. 139). 


annual third penny, as £40 IO5. \0d., was allowed to count, for 
his heirs, towards the payment of his debts to the Crown.^ A 
much later and most important instance is that of Devon, 
where Hugh de Courtenay, as the heir of the Earls of Devon, 
is found receiving their "third penny" in 8 Edw. III., though 
not an earl, a state of things which provoked a protest, a 
decision against him, and, eventually, his elevation to comital 

^ Madox {Baronia Anglica, p. 139). 

( 297 ) 



(See pp. 107, 108.) 

Dr. Stubbs writes : " A measure dictated still more distinctly 
by this policy may be traced in the list of sheriffs for a.d. 1130. 
Richard Basset and Aubrey de Vere, a judge and a royal 
chamberlain, act as joint sheriffs in no less than eleven 
counties ; Geoffrey de Clinton, Miles of Gloucester, William 
of Pont I'Arche, the treasurer, are also sheriffs as well as 
justices of the king's court" (i. 392). But this statement 
requires a certain qualification. For though they appear as 
sheriffs (vicecomites) on the Boll, and have been always so 
reckoned, we gather fi'om one passage in the record that they 
were, strictly speaking, not vicecomites^ but custodes. The 
difference is this. By the former a county was held adfirmam; 
by the latter it was held in custodia. In the Inquest of Sheriffs 
(1170) the distinction is clearly recognized. We there find 
the expressions used : " sive eos tenuerint ad firmara, sive in 
custodia." By the true sheriff {vicecomes) the county was, 
in fact, leased. He, as its farmer {Jirmarius), was responsible 
for its annual rent (firma). It was thus, virtually, a specula- 
tion of his own, and the profit, if any, was his. But by a 
process exactly analogous to that of a modern landlord taking 
an estate into his own hands, and farming it himself through 
a bailiff, the king could, under special circumstances, take a 
county into his own hands, and farm it himself through 
a bailiff (custos). Henry II., in his twentieth year, did this 
with London, putting in his own custodes in the place of the 
regular sheriffs, and, in later days, Henry III. and Edward I. 


did the same. It was this, I contend, that Henry I. had done 
with the counties in question. The proof of it is found in 
this passage : — 

"Eicardus basset et Albericus de Ver reddunt Compotum de M marcis 
argenti de superplus Comitatuum, quas habent in custodia " (p. 63). 

Here we have the very same phrase as that in the Inquest of 
Sheriffs, while the enormous "superplus" of a thousand marcs 
must represent the excess of receipts over the amount required 
for the firmse, which excess, the counties being "in custodia,' 
fell to the share of the Crown. Thus we obtain the right 
explanation of the employment in this capacity of royal officers, 
and we further get a glimpse, which we would not lose, of one 
of those administrative changes which, as under Henry II., tell 
of a system of government as yet empirical and imperfect. 

It is clear that this measure was no mere development, but 
a sudden and unforeseen step. For in the case of Essex, the 
scene of our story, William de Eynsford (" ^inesford"), a 
Kentish landowner, had leased the county for five years, from 
Michaelmas, 1128, the consideration he paid for his lease being 
a hundred marcs (£66 I'Ss. 4d.). Early in the second year of 
his lease, that is between Michaelmas, 1129, and Easter, 1130, 
he must have been superseded by the royal custodes, on the 
king taking the county into his own hands. He, however, 
received " compensation for disturbance," four- fifths of his 
hundred marcs (" de Gersoma ") being remitted to him in 
consideration of his losing four out of his five years' lease. All 
this we learn from the brief record in the Roll (p. 63). 

Another point that should be here noticed is the use of 
the term " Gersoma." Retrospectively, its use in this Roll 
illustrates its use in Domesday. In those cases, where a 
firmarius was willing, as a speculation, to give for an estate 
more than its fixed rental (Jirma), he gave the excess " de 
Gersoma," either in the form of a lump sum, or in that of an 
annual payment. 

( 299 ) 



(See p. 116.) 

There yet remains one point, in connection with this remarkable 
charter, perhaps the most striking, certainly the most novel, 
of all. This is that of the seal. According to the transcript in 
the Ashmole MSS., the legend "in circumferentia sigillo " was 
this : "Matildis Imperatrix Kom' et Regina Anglise." 

Now, that any such seal was designed for the Empress has 
never been suspected by any historian. We cannot, on a 
question of royal seals, appeal to a higher or more recognized 
authority than Mr. Walter de Gray Birch. He has written as 
follows on the subject : — 

"The type of seal of the empress which is invariably fixed to every 
document among this collection that bears a seal is that used by her in 
Germany as ' Queen of the Komans.' . . . From this date [1106] to that of 
her death, which took place on the 16th of December, a.d. 1167, long after the 
solution of the troubles of the years 1140-1142 in England, she was accus- 
tomed to use this seal, and this only. It has never been suggested by any 
writer upon the historic seals of England that Mathildis employed any 
Great Seal as Queen of England, made after the conventional characteristics 
which obtain in the Great Seals of Stephen, her predecessor, or of her son. 
King Henry II. The troubled state of this country, the uncertain move- 
ments of the lady, the unsettled confidence of the people, and the consequent 
inability of attending to such a matter as the engraving of a Great Seal — a 
work, it must be borne in mind, involving some time and care — are, when 
taken together, more than suflBcient causes to account for the continued usage 
of this type ; although we may fairly presume that it was intended to super- 
sede this foreign seal with one more consentaneously in keeping with English 
tradition." ^ 

The seal to which Mr. Birch refers bore the legend 
" Mathildis dei Gratia Romanorum regina." 

^ Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxi. 381. 


The question, of course, at once arises as to the amount of 
reliance that can be placed on the above transcriber's note. 
For my part, while fully admitting the right to reject such 
evidence, I cannot believe that any transcriber would for his 
own private gratification have forged such a legend, which he 
could not hope to foist upon the world, if it were indeed a 
forgery, since a reference to the original would at once expose 
him.^ And it is quite certain that we cannot account for it by 
any misreading, however gross. A comparison of the two 
legends will put this out of the question : — 


Matildis Imperatrix Rom' et regina Anglic. 
If we accept the fact, and believe the legend genuine, the 
first point to strike us is the substitution of " iTnperatrix " for 
*' Regina Romanorum." 

It is passing strange that Maud should have retained, indeed 
that she should ever have possessed, a seal which gave her no 
higher style than that of " Queen of the Romans." It is true 
that at the time of her actual betrothal (1110), her husband was 
not, in strictness, " emperor," not having yet been crowned at 
Rome; yet the performance of that ceremony a few months later 
(April, 1111) made him fully "emperor." At the time there- 
fore of their marriage and joint coronation (1114), they were, 
one would imagine, " emperor " and " empress ; " and indeed we 
read in the Lilneburg Chronicle, " dar makede he se to keisennney 
At the same time, as has been well observed, "matters of phrase 
and title are never unimportant, least of all in an age ignorant 
and superstition sly antiquarian,"^ and there must be some good 
reason for what appears to be a singular contradiction, though 
the point is overlooked by Mr. Birch. Two explanations 
suggest themselves. The one is that while Henry was fully 
and strictly " emperor," having been duly crowned at Rome, 
his wife, having only been crowned in Germany (1114), was not 
entitled to the style of " empress," but only to that of " Queen 
of the Romans." As against this, it would seem impossible 
that the wife of a crowned emperor can have been anything 

' This trnnscript was^ taken before the fire in which the charter was so 
badly injured. 

* Brjce's Holy Boman Empire. 


but an empress. Moreover, from the pleadings of her advocate 
at Rome, in 1136 (see p. 257 n.), we learn incidentally that she 
had duly been " anointed to empress." The only other explana- 
tion is that her seal had been engraved in 1110 — when the 
emperor was, as I have shown, only " Rex Romanorum " — and 
had not been altered since. 

It is important to remember that a seal is evidence of 
formal style, and not of current phraseology. In spite of the 
efforts of Messrs. Bryce and Freeman to insist on accuracy in 
the matter, it is certain that at the time of which I write a 
most loose nsage prevailed. Thus William of Malmesbury, 
although he specially records the solemn coronation of Henry V. 
as "Imperator Romanorum," at Rome in 1111, speaks of him 
as "Imperator Alemanniae," or "Imperator Alemannorum," 
both before and after that event. This circumstance is the 
more notable, because I cannot find that style recognized in 
Mr. Bryce's work, where the terms " German Emperor " and 
" Emperor of Germany " are treated as recent corruptions.^ Its 
common use in the twelfth century is shown by the scene, in 
the next reign, between Herbert of Bosham and the king 
(May 1, 1166), when the latter takes the former to task for 
speaking of Frederick as "King," not as "Emperor" of the 
Germans. Had Henry enjoyed the advantage of sitting under 
our own professors, he would have insisted on Frederick being 
styled Emperor of the Romans ; but as he lived in the twelfth 
century, he employed, to the annoyance of modern pedants, the 
current language of his day.^ 

It was natural and fitting that, the legend on her seal being 
at variance with her style, the Empress should embrace the 
opportunity afforded, by the making of a wholly new seal, to 
bring the two into harmony. 

The next point is the adoption of the form " Anglise," not 
" Anglorum." This, at first sight, seemed suspicious. For 
though the abbreviation found in charters ("AngF") might 

» P. 317 (3rd edition). 

2 " Rex. Quare in nomine dignitatis derogas ei, non vocans eum impera- 
torem Alemannorum? Herhertus. Rex est Alemannorum; sed ubi scribit, 
scribit 'Imperator Romanorum, semper Augustus'" (Becket Memorials, iii. 
100, 101). 


stand for " Anglorum " or for " Angliae," the legend on the 
seal of Stephen, as on that of Henry I., contains the form 
"Anglorum;" and Matilda styled herself in her charters 
"Anglorum" (not " Anglie) Domina." Bnt the remarkable 
fact that both the qneens of Henry I. bore on their seals the 
legend " Sigillum . . . Reginae AngZz'e " led me to the conclu- 
sion that, so far from impugning, this form actually confirmed 
the genuineness of the alleged legend. 

It will doubtless be asked why this seal should have been 
affixed, so far as we know, to this charter alone. But it is 
precisely this that gives it so great an interest. For this is the 
only known instance of an original charter, still surviving, 
belonging to the brief but eventful period of the Empress's stay 
at Westminster on the eve of her intended coronation.^ It 
may safely be presumed that a Great Seal was made in readiness 
for this event, and that its legend would necessarily include the 
style of " Queen of England." The Empress, in at least two 
of her charters, had already, though irregularly,- assumed this 
style,^ and was clearly eager to adopt it. As to her retention 
of her foreign style on her seal as an English sovereign, it 
might be suggested that she clung to the loftiest style of all ^ 
from that haughty pride which was to prove fatal to her 
claims ; but it is more likely that she found it needful to 
distinguish thus her style from that of her rival's queen. For 
by a singular coincidence, they would both have had, in the 
ordinary course, upon their seals precisely the same legend, 
viz. " Mathildis dei gi'atia Regina Anglie." * 

We may then, I think, thus account for the presence of this 
seal at Westminster, and for its use, with characteristic eager- 
ness, by the Empress on this occasion. We may also no less 

* The two other charters which belong (certainly) to this visit are known 
to us only from transcripts. 

2 " M. Imperatrix Henrici regis filia et Angl[ie] regina." 
' We must remember the then supreme position and lofty pretensions of 
" the Emperor." 

* Original charters of Stephen's queen are so extremely rare, that we 
know but little of her seal. Transcripts, however, of two fine charters of 
hers, formerly in the Cottonian collection, will be found in Add. MS. 22,641 
(fols. 29, 31), and to one of them is appended a sketch of the seal, the first 
half of tiie legend being " Matildis Dei Gratia," and the second being lost. 


satisfactorily account for* the fact that it was never used again. 
For this, indeed, the events that followed the fall of the Empress 
from, her high estate, and the virtual collapse of her hopes, may 
be held sufficiently to account. But it is quite possible that in 
the headlong flight of the Empress and her followers from 
Westminster, the Great Seal may have fallen, with the rest of 
her abandoned treasure, into the hands of her triumphant foes. 

( 304 ) 



(See p. 121.) 

Few discoveries, in the course of these researches, have afforded 

me more satisfaction and pleasure than that of the origin of 

Gervase de Cornhill, the founder of an eminent and wealthy 

house, and himself a great City magnate who played, we shall 

find, no small part in the affairs of an eventful time. 

The peculiar interest of the story lies in the light it throws 

on the close amalgamation of the Normans and the English, 

even in the days of Henry I., thereby affording a perfect 

illustration of the well-known passage in the Bialogus : — 

" Jam cohabitantibus Anglicis et Normannis, et alterutrmn uxores 
ducentibus vel nubentibus, sic permixtae sunt nationes, ut vix discerni possit 
hodie, de liber is loquor, quis Anglicus, quis Normaimus sit genera." * 

It also affords us a welcome glimpse of the territorial aristocracy 
of the City, as yet its ruling class. 

It has hitherto been supposed, as in Foss's work, that 
Gervase de Cornhill first appears in 1155-56 (2 Hen. II.), 
in which year he figures on the Pipe-Roll as one of the sheriffs 
of London. I propose to show that he first appears a quarter 
of a century before, and so to bridge over Stephen's reign, and 
to connect the Pipe- Roll of Henry I. with the earliest Pipe- 
Rolls of Henry II. The problem before us is this. We have 
to identify the " Gervasius filius Rogeri nepotis Huberti," who 
figures prominently on the Pipe-Roll of 1130 (31 Hen. I.), 
with "Gervase, Justiciary of London," who meets us twice 
under Stephen, with " Gervase " who was one of the sheriffs 
of London in 1155 and 1156, and with Gervase de Cornhill, 
whose name occurs at least twice under Stephen, aud innumerable 
times under Henry II., both in a public and private capacity. 

' Dialogus, i. 10. 


Let us first identify Gervase de Coi-nhill with Gervase, the 
Justiciary of London. The latter personage occurs once in the 
legend on the seal aflBxed to "a ' star ' with Hebrew words," 
which reads, "Sigillum Gervas' justitia' Londoniar' ; " 1 and once 
in a charter which confirms this legend, dealing, as it does, with 
a grant: " Gervasio Justic' de Lond'."^ But the land (in 
Gamlingay) granted to " Gervase, Justiciary of London," is 
entered in a survey of the reign of John as held by " the heirs of 
Gervase de Cornhill " (see p. 121) . Similarly, the land mortgaged 
in the former transaction to " Gervase, Justiciary of London," is 
afterwards found in possession of Henry, son and heir of 
Gervase de Cornhill. Thus is established the identity of the two. 

The identity of the Gervase who thus flourished in the 
reigns of Stephen and Henry II. with the Gervase fitz Roger 
of 1130 must next occupy our attention. Here are the entries 
relating to the latter : — 

" Radulfus filius Ebrardi debet cc marcas argenti pro placitis pecunie 
Rogeri nepotis Huberti." 

" Andreas bucca uncta reddit compotum de Ixiiij libris et vii solidis et viiij 
denariis pro xx libratis terre de terra Rogeri nepotis Huberti." 

"Johannes filius Radulfi filii Ebrardi et Robertus frater suns reddimt 
Compotum de dcccc et ij marcis argenti iiij denarios minus de debitis Ger- 
vasii filii Rogeri pro tota terra patris sui exceptis xx libratis terrre quas rex 
retinuit ad opus Andr' bucca uncta. . . . Et Idem debent iij marcaa auri 
pro concessione terrarum quas Gervasius eis dedit." 

" Ingenolda uxor Rogeri Nepotis Huberti debet ij marcas auri ut habeat 
maritagium et dotem et res suas." 

" Gervasius filius Rogeri nepotis Huberti debet vj libras et xii solidos et 
vj denarios de debitis patris sui." 

" Robertus filius Radufi et Johannes frater ejus reddunt Compotum de iij 
marcis auri ut rex concederet eis vadimonium et terras quas Gervasius eis 
concessit." ' 

These entries are explained by the charter subjoined, which 
shows how John and Robert came to have charge of the estate : — 

" H. rex Angl[orum] Vic' Lund' et omnibus Baronibus et Vicecomitibus 
in quorum Bailiis Gervasius filius Rogeri terram habet salutem. Precipio 

^ Such is the reading given by Anstis, who saw tliis star among the 
duchy records. It is greatly to be hoped that it may still be found. Anstis 
describes the device as " a Lyon." 

2 Duchy of Lancaster : Royal Charters, No. 22. 

3 Rot Pip., 31 Hen. I., pp. 144, 145, 147-149. Compare the clause in 
Henry's charter guaranteeing to tlie citizens "terras suas et vadimonia." 
Here the possession has to be paid for. 



quod Gervasius filius Kogeri sit saisitus et teuens de omnibus terris et 
rebus patris sui sicut pater ejus erat die quo movit ire ad Jerosolimani. 
. . . Et ipse et tota terra sua interim sint in custodia et saisina Johannis et 
Roberti filiorum Eadulfi. . . . T. Comite Gloecestrie. Apud West'." ' 

John fitz Ralpli (fitz Ebrard) was another London magnate, 
-who was more or less connected with Gervase throughout his 
career. He is found with him at St. Albans, late in Stephen's 
reign, witnessing a charter of the king ; ^ and the two men, as 
" Gervase and John," were joint sheriffs of London in 2 Hen. II. 
He is also the first witness to one of Gervase's charters after 
his brother Alan.^ 

We further find Gervase fitz Roger excused (in the Pipe- Roll 
of 1180) the payment of two shillings *'de veteri Danegeldo " 
(? 1127-28) in Middlesex, and seven shillings "de preterito 
Danegeldo" (1128-29) because his land is "waste."* The 
inference to be drawn from all these passages is that Gervase 
had then (1130) recently succeeded his father, a man of unusual 
wealth and considerable property in land. We should there- 
fore expect to find him, in his turn, a man of some importance, 
as was our own Gervase the Justiciar {alias Gervase de Corn- 
hill), the only Gervase who meets us as a man of any con- 
sequence. Fortunately, however, we are not dependent on 
mere inference. The manor of Chalk was granted by the 
Crown to Roger " nepos Huberti;"^ it was subsequently 
regranted to Gervase de Cornhill,^ whom I identify with 
Gervase his son. Moreover, the adoption by Gervase of the 
surname " de Cornhill " can, as it happens, be accounted for. 
Among the records of the duchy of Lancaster is a grant by 
William, Archbishop of Canterbury (1123-1136), of land at 
" Eadintune " to Gervase and Agnes his wife, Agnes being 
described as daughter of " Godeleve." ^ By the aid of another 
document relating to the same property,® we identify this 
" Godeleve " as the wife of Edward de Cornhill. To the eye 
of" a trained genealogist all is thus made clear. 

^ Duchy of Lancaster : Royal Charters, No. 8. 

* " Gervasio de Corn . . ., Johanne filio Radulfi " (Madox's Formularium^ 
298). 3 Duchy of Lancaster : Cart. Misc., ii. 57. 

* Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I., pp. 150, 151. 

* Duchy of Lancaster : Royal Charters, No. 3. 

^ Ihid , No. 26 (see Pipe-Roll Society : Ancient Charters, p. 66). 
^ Grants in boxes, A., No. 156. * Ibid., 154. 


But we noM^ find ourselves in the midst of a most interesting 
family connection. For these same records carry us back to the 
father of this " Godeleve," namely, Edward of Southwark.^ It 
is true that here he figures merely as a " ae. desudwerc," but 
we have only to turn to another quarter, and there we find 
" Edwardo de Suthwerke et Willelmo filio ejus " among the 
leading witnesses to the invaluable document recording the 
surrender by the English Cnihtengild of their soke to 
the priory of Christchurch (1125).^ I need scarcely lay stress 
on the interest and importance of everything bearing on that 
remarkable and as yet mysterious institution. We find our- 
selves now brought into actual contact with the gild. For in 
one of its members, as named in that document, " Edwardus 
Hupcornhill," Ave recogriize no other than that " Edward of 
Cornhill " who was son-in-law to "Edward of Southwark," ^ 
Following up our man in yet another quarter, we find him 
witnessing a London deed (temp. William the Dean),* and 
another one of about the middle of the reign of Henry I.,*^ 
though wrongly assigned in the (Hist. MSS.) Report to " about 
1127."^ Lastly, turning to still another quarter, we find his 
name among those of the witnesses to an agreement between 
Ramsey Abbey g^nd the priory of Christchurch soon after 1125.'^ 

We are now in a position to construct this remarkable 
pedigree : — 

* "Ego Radulfus Archiepiscopus [1114-1122] concede ^adwardo de 
Cornhelle et uxori ejus GodeHf et hseredibus suis terrain de Eadintune . . . 
quam se. desudwerc dedit cum filia sua se. de Cornhelle " (ibid., 154). We 
have here an instance of the caution with which official calendars should be 
used. In the otBcial abstract of the above record (Thirty-fifth Beport of Dep. 
Keeper, p. 15), the above words are rendered, " with his daughter ae. de Corn- 
helle," the dative being taken for an ablative, and the wife transformed into 
her husband ! ^ London and Middlesex Arch. Journ., v. 477. 

' The curious form " Hupcornhill " should, of course, be noted. I have 
met with a similar form at Colchester, where the name "Opethewalle," which 
has been supposed to have been connected with the town-wall, occurs earlier 
(under Edward I.) as " Opethehelle," i.e. up the hill. The idiom still survives 
in such forms as " up town " and " up the street." It probably accounts for 
the strange name, " Hoppeoverhumber," i.e. a man who came from " up 
beyond the Humber " (cf. for aspirate " Huppelanda de Berchamstede "). 

* Ninth Report Hist. MSS., i. 61 h. * Ibid., p. 66 a. 

® lbid.,1^. 31 b. It is certainly earlier than 1120, when Otuel fitz Count (the 
leading witness) was drowned, and probably earlier than the spring of 1116. 
' Pipe-Roll Society : Ancient Charters, p. 26 (Eadwardus de Corhulle). 



Edward of South wark, 
liviaor 1125. 

" In2:enolda," = 
livino; 1130. 


" nepos 


Edward = Godeleve. 
de Cornhil], 
livinor 1125. 

living 1125. 

Fi'z Roger 
Gervase de 


de Coruhill, 

before 1136. 

I say that this is a remarkable pedigree because, from the 
dates, Edward of Southwark must have been born within a 
very few years of the Conquest, and also because we can feel 
sure, in the case both of him and of his son-in-law, that we are 
dealing with men of the old stock, connected with the venerable 
gild of English " Cnihts." But it further shows us how the 
elder of the two bestowed on his English son the name of the 
Xorman Conqueror, and how the Xorman settlers intermarried 
with the English stock. 

Let us now return to the father of Gervase, Roger " nepos 
Haberti." Here, again, there come to our help the records of 
the duchy of Lancaster. Among them are two royal charters, 
the first of which o-rants to Roofer the manor of Chalk, in 
Kent,^ while the second was consequent on his death, ^ and 
should be read in connection w^th the above extracts from the 
Pipe-Roll of 1130. This charter has a special interest from its 
mention of the fact that Roger had gone "ad Jerosolima." 
We may infer from this that he had died on pilgrimage.^ As 
Gervase inherited from his father so large an estate, Roger 
must have been, in his day, a man of some consequence. It 
is, therefore, rather strange that his name does not occur in the 
report on the muniments of St. Paul's, nor in any other quarter 
to which I have been able to refer. Luckily, however, Stow 
has preserved for us the gist of a document which he had 

* Royal Charters, No. 3, This charter must belong to the years 1116- 

« Ibid., No. 8 (see p. 305). 

» This has a curious bearing on the legend that Gilbert Becket, the 
primate's father, had journeyed to Palestine, as showing that this was actually 
done by a contemporary City maguate. 


seen, when he tells us that on the grant of their soke, in 1125, 
by the Cnihtengild — 

"The king sent also his sheriffs, to wit Aubrey de Vere and Roger 
nephew to Hubert, which (upon his behalf) should invest this church with 
the possessions thereof; which the said sheriffs accomplished, coming upon 
the ground, Andrew Buchevite ^ and the forenamed witnesses and others 
standing by." 2 

If we can trust to this passage, as I believe we certainly 
can, our Roger was a sheriff of London in 1125. This makes 
it highly probable that he was identical with the " Roger " 
named in a document addressed, a few years earlier : — 

" Hugoni de Bocheland, Rogero, Leofstano, Ordgaro, et omnibus aliis 
baronibus Lundonise." ' 

I do not know of any other Roger who is likely to have been 
thus addressed. 

We are given by Gervase de Cornhill a further clue as to 
his parentage in a charter of his, under Henry II., in which he 
mentions Ralph fitz Herlwin as his uncle ("avunculus"). 
Ralph fitz Herlwin was in 1130 joint-Sheriff of London.* This 
clue, therefore, is worth following up. Now, Ralph must either 
have been a brother of the father or of the mother of Gervase. 
It is highly improbable that Ralph "filius Herlwini " was a 
brother of Roger "nepos Huberti," each of the two being 
always mentioned by the same distinctive suffix. It may, 
therefore, be presumed that Ralph was brother to Roger's wife. 
Now, we happen to have two documents which greatly concern 
this Ralph and his son, and which belong to one transaction, 
although they figure widely apart in the report on the muni- 
ments of St. Paul's.^ Nicholas, son of -^Ifgar, parish priest of 
the church of St. Michael's, Cheap, a living which, like his 
father before him, he held at lease from St. Paul's, exercised 
his right to the next presentation in favour of a son of Ralph 
fitz Herlwin, who had married his niece Mary. From the 
evidence now in our possession, we may construct this pedigree : — 

* This name should be Andrew Buccuinte (Bucca uncta). 
2 Strype's Stow, ii. 4. 

' Ramsey Cartulary, i. 130. The date there assigned is 1114-1130, but 
Hugh de Bocland appears to have died several years before 1130. 

* Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. L, p. 149. 

* Ninth Report Hist. MSS., App. i. pp. 20 a, 64 a. 


" Algar Colessnne," ^ 

pritst of St. Michael's, 



" Herlwin." 


priest of 

St. Michael's, 


[dan.] = Baldwin 
de Arras. 

Ealph William 

fitz fitz 

Herlwin, Herlwln,^ 

joint-sheriff living 1130. 
in 1130. 




livino: 1130.2 

Marv = 


fitz Ralph, 

inherited the 

living of 
St. Michael's 

from his 
■wife's lincle. 

William. Herlwin. 

" Ingenolda." ' = Rosrer " nepos 
joint-sheriff, 1125. 

de Comhill, 
dau. of Edward 
de Cornhill. 

(nephew to Ralph 

fitz Herlwin), 

joint-Sheriff of 

London, 1155-56. 

Alice * 

de Courci, 

heiress of 

the English 

De Courcis, 


wife ofWarin 

fitz Gerold. 

Henry de 


Sheriff of 

London and 

of Kent and 

of Surrey. 

de Cornhill, 
Sheriff of 

de Cornhill. 


brother to 




Joan de = Hugh de Nevill, 
Cornhill. Forester of Enorland. 

Reginald de 
Cornhill, junior. 

* The form of this surname should be noted as illustrating the practice 
of abbreviation. The name of .lElfgar's father must have been Colswegen, or 
Bome other compound of " Col — " 

« See Pipe-Roll of 1130. 

* This involves a double supposition : (a) that " Ingenolda," who is 
proved to have been the widow of Roger, was the m-^ther of his son Gervase ; 
(&) that Ralph fitz Herlwin was brother to the mother, not the father, of 
Gervase. These assumptions seem tolerably certain, but, at present, they 
can only be provisionally accepted. 

* For this descent see Stapleton's preface to the Liher de Antiquis 
Legihus (Cam. Soc). 


It will have been noticed that in this pedigree I assign to 
Gervase a brother Alan. I do so on the strength of a charter 
of Archbishop Theobald, late in the reign of Stephen, to Holj 
Trinity, witnessed inter alios by " Gervasio de Cornhill et Alano 
fratre ejus,"^ also of a charter I have seen (Duchy of Lane, 
Cart. Misc.^ ii. 57), in which the first witness to a charter of 
Gervase is Alan, his brother. The " Roger fitz Alan " for 
whom I suggest an affiliation to this Alan occurs among the 
witnesses to a grant made by Ralph, and witnessed by Regi- 
nald de Cornhill.^ This suggests such paternity, and his name, 
Roger, would then be derived from Roger, his paternal grand- 
father. We have here, at least, another clue which ought to 
be followed up, for Roger fitz Alan is repeatedly found among 
the leading witnesses to London documents of the close of the 
twelfth and beginning of the thirteenth centuries, his career 
culminating in his appointment as mayor on the death of the 
well-known " Henry fitz Ailwin " in 1212.® 

The fact that Gervase and Alan were brothers tempts one 
to recognize in them the " Alanus juvenis et Gervasius fratres," 
who witness a grant to (their cousin) Robert fitz Ralph fitz 
Herlwin,* and the "Alanus juvenis" and "Gervasius frater 
Alani " of a similar document.^ But, unluckily, we find this 
same Alan elsewhere styled "Alanus ^\\.Vl&, Huherti juvenis."* 
Possibly they were sons of that Hubert to whom his father 
was " nepos." But the question, for the present, must be left 
in doubt. 

Both Gervase de Cornhill and Henry his son appear, it may 
be added, from the evidence of charters, to have lent money 
on mortgage, and to have acquired landed property by fore- 
closing. A curious allusion to the mercantile origin and the 
profitable money-lending transactions of Geoffrey is found in a 
sneer of Becket's biographer, when, as Sheriff of Kent, he 
opposed the primate's landing.'^ The contemporary allusion to 

* From a MS. note of Dugdale (L. 41, dors.). 
2 Ninth Report Hist. MSS., i. 52 b. 

^ Thii^, it must be well understood, is thrown out merely as a suggestion. 

* Ninth Report Eist MSS., i. 64 a. 

» Jhid., 66 b. • Ibid., 20 a. 

' "Cujus jurisdictioni Cantia subjiciebatur, plus besses et centesim.TS 
usuras quam bonum et sequum attendens" (JBechet Memorials, Hi. 100). 


such pursuits, in the Dialogus, breathes the same scornful spirit 
for the trader and all his works.^ Gervase, I think, may 
have been that " Gervase " who, at the head of the citizens of 
London, met Henry II. in 1174 (Fantosme, 1. 1941) ; he would 
seem to have lived on till 1183, and was probably, at bis 
death, between seventy and seventy-five years old. Among his 
descendants were a Dean of St. Paul's (1243-1254) and a 
Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (1215—1223). 

^ " Quod 81 forte miles aliquis vel liber alius a sui status dignitate, quod 
absit, degenerans, multiplicandis denariis per publica mercimonia, vel per 
turpissimum genus quasstus, hoc est per foenus extiterit . . . Hiis similis 
qui multiplicant quocunque modo rem." Compare Quadripartitus : ein 
Englisches Rechtshuch von 111! (ed. Liebermann) : " qui, vera morum gene- 
rositate carentes et honesta prosapia, longo nummorum stemmate gloriantur, 
. . . qui vetituin pecunie fenus exercent, . . . miseram pecunie stipem, 
pauperum lacrimis et anxietatibus cruentatam, omni veritatis et justicie 
sanctioni mentes perdite prefecerunt et id solum sapientiam reputant quod 
eis obtatum pecunie fenus quibuscunque machinationibus insusurrat " 
(Dedicatio, § 16, § 38). Compare also with these Cicero (De Officiis, i. 42) : 
" Jam de artificiis et qugestibus, qui liberales habendi, qui sordidi sint, haec 
praeaccepimus. Primum improbantur ii qusestus qui in odia hominuiu 
incurruut, ut portitorum, ut feueratorum. . . . Sordidi etiam putandi qui 
mercautura mercatoribus quoi statim vendant. Nihil enim proficiunt nisi 
admodum mentiautur." 

( 313 ) 



(See p. 124.) 

As this imporfcant charter has never, I believe, been printed, I 
have taken the present opportunity of publishing it in extenso. 
The grantee must, at first, have staunchly supported Stephen, 
for he received in 1139, from the king, a grant of that constable- 
ship which Miles of Gloucester had forfeited on his defection/ 
It is evident, however, from the terms of this charter that he 
was jealous of Stephen's favourite, Gualeran, Count of Meulau, 
and of the power which the king had given him at Worcester. 
The grant of Tamworth also should be carefully noted, because 
that portion of the Despencer inheritance had fallen to the 
share of Marmion, which suggests that the Beauchamps and 
the Marmions were at strife, and that therefore, in this struggle, 
they embraced opposite sides. An intermarriage between Robert 
Marmion and Maud de Beauchamp was probably, as in other 
cases, a compromise of the quarrel. 

" M. Imperatrix H. Regis filia et Anglor[um] domina Archi- 
episcopis Episcopis Abbatibus Comitibus Baronibus Justic[iariis] 
vicecomitibus ministris et omnibus fidelibus suis francis et 
Anglis tocius Anglise salutem. Sciatis me dedisse et reddi- 
disse Willelmo de Bellocampo hereditario jure Castellum de 
Wigorn[ia] cum mota sibi et heredibus suis ad tenendum de me 
in capite et heredibus meis. Dedi ei et reddidi vicecomitatum 
Wigornpe] et forestas cum omnibus appendiciis suis in feodo 
et hereditarie per eandem firmam quam pater eius Walterus 
de Bellocampo inde reddebat. Et de hoc devenit ipse 

^ See Appendix F. 


Willelmus meus ligius homo contra omnes morfcales et nomi- 
natim contra Gualerann[nm] Comitem de Mellent et ita qnod 
nee ipse Comes Gaaleran[u.s] nee aliquis alias de hiis predictis 
mecnm finem faciet quin semper ipse Willelmus de me in capite 
teneat nisi ipse bona voluntate et gratuita concessione de 
predicto Comite tenere voluerit. Et praster hoc dedi ei et 
reddidi castellum et honorem de Tamword ad tenend[um] ita 
bene et in pace et quiete et plenarie et honorifice et libere sicut 
unquam melius et quietius et plenarius et honorificentius et 
liberius Robertas Dispensator frater Ursonis de Abbetot ipsnm 
castellum et honorem tenuerit. Et eciam dedi ei et reddidi 
Manerium de Cokeford cum omnibus appendiciis suis ut rectum 
Buum sine placito. Et cum hoc dedi ei et reddidi Westonam 
et Luffenham in Roteland cum omnibus appendiciis suis ut 
rectam suum similiter sine placito. Dedi eciam ei et concessi 
de cremento Ix libratas terrse de perquisitione Angl' pro 
servicio suo. Et iterum dedi ei et reddidi conestabulatum 
quem Urso de Abetot tenuit et dispensam ita hereditarie sicnt 
Wal terns pater ejus earn de patre meo H. Rege tenuit. Et 
item dedi ei et concessi terras et hereditates suorura proxi- 
mornm parentum qui contra me fuerint in Werra mea et mecum 
finem facere non poterunt nisi de sua parentela propinquiore 
michi in ipsa Werra servierit. Quare volo et firmiter precipio 
quod de me et de quocunque teneat bene et honorifice in pace 
et hereditarie et libere et quiete teneat ipse Willelmus et heres 
6UUS post eum in bosco in piano in pratis et pasturis in forestis 
et fugaciis in percursibus et exitibus in aquis et molendinis 
in vivariis et piscariis in stagnis et mariscis et salinis et viis 
et semitis in foris et in feriis infra burgnm et extra in civitate 
et extra et in omnibus locis cum saca et soka et toll et team et 
Infangenthef et cum omnibus consuetudinibus et libertatibus 
et quietudinibus T[estibus] Ep'o Bern[ardo] de S^cto D., et 
Nigello Ep'o de Ely, et Rob[erto] Com[ite] Gloec[estrie] et 
Milon[e] Com[ite] He[re]ford et Brienc[io] fil[io] Com[itis] 
et Unfr[ido] de Buh[u.n] et Joh[ann]e fil[io] Gilleb[erti] et 
Walkel[ino] Maminot et Milon[e] de Belloc[ampo] et Gaufr[edo] 
de Walt[er]vyll[a] et Steph[ano] de Belloc[ampo] et Rob[er]to 
de Colevill et Isnardo park[? ario] Gaufi[edo] de Abbetot 
Gilleb[erto] Arch' Nich[olao] fil[io] Isnardi. Apud Oxineford." 


There can, I think, be little question that this charter 
passed at Oxford just after that by which Miles of Gloucester 
was created Earl of Hereford (July 25, 1141). It is certainly 
previous to the Earl of Gloucester's departure from England 
in the summer of 1142, and I do not know of any evidence for 
the presence of these bishops with the Empress at Oxford after 
the rout of Winchester. The names of the eight first witnesses 
to this charter are all found in Miles's charter {Fwdera, N.E., i. 
14). As to the others, Miles de Beauchamp had held his castle 
of Bedford against Stephen (Christmas, 1137), and, though 
compelled to surrender it, had regained it on the triumph of 
the Empress. Stephen de Beauchamp heads the list of William 
de Beauchamp's under-tenants in his Carta (1166), and the 
Abetots — Heming's " Ursini " — also held of him. "Isnardus" 
was a landowner in Worcestershire and witnessed a charter 
to Evesham Abbey in 1130. 

The text of this charter — which is taken from the Beau- 
champ Cartulary {Add. M8S., 28,024, fol. 126 6), a most precious 
volume, of which the existence is little known — is perhaps 
corrupt in places, but the document affords several points of 
considerable interest. Among them are the formula " dedi et 
reddidi " applied to the grantee's previous possessions, as con- 
trasted with the " dedi et concessi " of the new grant (60 
*' librates " of land) aiid of the grant of his relatives' inheri- 
tance ; the reference to the hereditary shrievalty of Worcester ; 
the allusion to Tamworth Castle as the head of its "honour " 
(as at Arundel) ; and the phrase " de hoc devenit . . . mens 
ligius homo contra omnes mortales," to be compared with " pro 
hiis . . . devenit homo noster ligius contra omnes homines " 
in the charter (1144) to Humfrey de Bohun (Pipe-Roll 
Society : Ancient Charters, p. 46), and the " horaagium suum 
fecit ligie contra omnes homines " in the charter to Miles of 
Gloucester (see p. 56). The statement that active opponents 
of the Empress were precluded from compounding for their 
offence, except by special intervention, occurs, I think, here 
alone. The facts that Urse de Abetot was a constable and Walter 
de Beauchamp an hereditary " Dispenser " are also noteworthy, 
the latter bearing on the question of the succession to Eobert 
" Dispensator " (see my remarks in Ancient Charters, p. 2). 

( 3i6 ) 



(See p. 146.) 

It is difficult to overrate the importance of the Canterbury 
charter to Geoffrey in its bearing on the origin and nature of 
this far-famed earldom. For centuries, antiquaries and lawyers 
have wrangled over this dignity, the premier earldom of 
England, but its true character and history have remained an 
unsolved enigma. 

The popular belief that the dignity is "an earldom by 
tenure" and is aonexed to the possession of Arundel Castle, 
is based on the petitions of John fitz Alan in 11 Hen. lY. 
and of Thomas Howard in 3 Car. I. This view would be 
strenuously upheld, of course, by the possessors of the castle, 
but neither their own ex parte statements, nor even the tacit 
admission of them by the Crown, can override the facts of the 
case as established by the evidence of history. The problem 
is for us, it should be added, of merely historical interest, as 
the dignity is now, and has been since 1627. held under a 
special parliamentary entail created in that year. 

Even the warmest advocates of the " earldoiqi by tenure " 
theory would admit that such an anomaly was absolutely 
unique of its kind. The oniis of proving the fact must there- 
fore rest on them, and the presumption, to put it mildly, is 
completely against them, for I do not hesitate to say that to a 
student of the dignity of an earl the proposition they ask us to 
accept is more than impossible : it is ludicrous. 

Tierney endeavoured, with some skill, to rebut the argu- 
ments of Lord Redesdale in the Beports of the Lords' Committee^ 
but the advance of historical research leaves them both behind. 
The latest words on the subject have been spoken by Mr. Pym 


Yeatman, the confidence of whose assertions and the size of 
whose work^ might convey the erroneous impression that he 
had solved this ancient riddle. I shall therefore here examine 
his arguments in some detail, and, having disposed of his 
theories, shall then discuss the facts. 

An enthusiastic champion of the " earldom by tenure " 
theory, Mr. Yeatman has further advanced a view which is 
quite peculiar to himself. So far as this view can be under- 
stood, it "dimidiates" the first earl (d. 1176), and converts 
him into two, viz. a father who died about 1156, and a son who 
died in 1176. This is first described as "certain" (p. 281),^ 
then as "probable" (p. 288),Mastly, as "possible" (p. 285).' 
But when we look for the foundation of the theory, and for 
evidence that the first earl died in 1156, we only read, to our 
confusion, that the doings of the Becket earl are " possibly " to 
be attributed to " his [the first earl's] son, and we must come to 
that conclusion, if we believe the only evidence we possess in 
relation to the death of his father in 1156; at any rate, before 
it is rejected some reason should be shown for doing so." 
Yet the only scrap of " evidence " given us is the incidental 
remark (p. 283) that "the year 1156 is usually assigned as 
that of the death of the first Earl of Arundel." Now, this is 
directly contrary to fact. For Mr. Yeatman himself tells us 
that Dugdale's is " the generally received account " (p. 282), 
and Dugdale, like every one else, kills the first earl in 1176.^ 
Again, it is " very certain," we learn, that the Earl of Arundel 
"died the 3rd {sic) of October, 1176" (p. 281), while " Diceto 
is the authority for the statement that William Albini, Earl of 
Arundel, died the 17th {sic) of October, 1176" (p. 285), the 
actual words of the chronicler being given as " iv. die Octobus " 

^ The Early Genealogical History of the House of Arundel (1882). 

2 « Very certain it is that William Earl of Arundel died the 3rd (sic) of 
October, 1176, and equally certain is it that this was the son of the first 

3 Where the earl of the Becket quarrel is described as "probably his 
[the first earl's] son." 

* " It is possible that the new earl [son of the earl who died 1176] was 
the grandson of the first Earl of Arundel." 

^ Weever similarly kills him in 1176, though he wrongly assigns the 
death of his father (the founder of Wymondham) lo 3 Hen. II, 



(sic). Now, all three dates, as a matter of fact, are wrong, 
thougli this is only introduced to show how the laborious re- 
searches of the author are marred bj a carelessness which is 
fatal to his work. 

Let us now turn to this argument : — 

" The foundation charter of Bungay, in Suffolk, contains the first entry 
known to the author of the title of Earl of Sussex. It was founded in 1160 
by Eoger de Glanville. . . . This charter seems to confirm the statement 
that the first Eurl of Arundel died about 1156. If not, he too was styled 
Earl of Sussex. It disposes as well of the theory that the first (sec) Earl 
of Arundel was so created * in 1176 " (p. 281). 

This argument is based on the fact that the house was 
"founded in 1160." The Monasticon editors indeed say that 
this was " about " the date, but, unluckily, a moment's exami- 
nation of the list of witnesses to the charter shows that its date 
must be much later,^ while Mr. Ejton unhesitatingly assigns 
it to 1188. All the above argument, therefore, falls to the 

Another point on which the author insists as of great 
importance is that the first earl was never Earl of Sussex : — 

" The first Earl of Arundel was never called Earl of Sussex, nor did he 
bear that title. . . . His son was the first Earl of Sussex, and he would 
certainly have given liis father the higher title if he ever bore it. Yet in 
confirming his charter to Wyraondham, William, Earl of Sussex, confirms 
the grants of his . . . father, William, the venerable Earl of Arundel. . . . 
An earl could nut call himself the earl of a county unless he had a grant of 
it, and of this, with respect to the husband of Queen Adeliza, there is no 
evidence " (p. 282). 

"That his son was called Earl of Sussex, and that he was the first earl, 
is equally clear" (p. 282). 

" The chartulary of the Abbey of Buckenham, which the first Earl of 
Arundel founded, preserves the distinction in the titles of himself and his 
son and successor already insisted upon. It was founded tempe Stephen, 
and the founder is styled William, Count of Chichester. William, Count of 
Sussex, confirms the charter " (p. 284). 

But on the very next page he demolishes his own argument 
by quoting Hoveden to the effect that " Willielmus (sic) de 
Albineio filio Willielmi Comitis de Arundel [Rex] dedit comi- 

* ? created Earl of Sussex. 

* Bishop John of Norwich, for instance, was not elected till 1175. 


tatum de Southsex."' For here his own rule would require that 
if the late earl was, as he admits, Earl of Sussex, he would not 
be described as Earl of Arundel.^ 

But, in any case, the still existing charter to Geoffrey de 
Mandeville (1141), which the earl attests as " Earl of Sussex " 
(evidence which does not stand alone), is absolutely conclusive 
on the subject, and simply annihilates Mr. Yeatman's attempts 
to deny to the husband of Queen Adeliza the possession of that 

With this there falls to the ground the argument based on 
that denial, viz. : — 

" There is another argument which appears to have been lost sight of, 
which proves distinctly that there was (sic) at least five earls, and probably 
six, of the name of William de Albini. The record of the 12 Henry III. 
which was made after the last earl of that name was dead three years proves 
that there were four Earls of Sitssex. . . . Now, the first Earl of Arundel 
was never called Earl of Sussex, nor did he bear that title," etc. (p. 282). 

The above argument that the record in question proves the 
existence of five, not of four, earls thus falls to the ground. 
But this is by no means all. Mr. Yeatman first asserts 
(p. 281 a) that there were five Albini Earls of Arundel in all, 
"if indeed there were not six of them." Deducting the last 
earl, Hugh de Albini, this leaves us four or five Earl Williams 
in succession. Yet on the very next page he urges it (in the 
above passage) as "distinctly proved " that "there was (sic) at 
least five earls, and probably six, of the name of William de 
Albini." And, lastly, on p. 284, he announces that " there 
must have been six " ! 

We will now dismiss from our minds all that has been 
written on the point by Mr. Yeatman and other antiquaries, 
and turn to the facts of the case, which are few and beyond 
dispute. It is absolutely certain, from the evidence of con- 
temporary chronicles and charters, that the first Albini earl, 

^ Mr. Yeatman attempts to get over this difficulty by suggesting that 
"Henry's charter to William, Earl of Arundel, styling himself [? him] 
incidentally Earl of Sussex, shows that these earls bore both titles [i.e. 
Arundel and Sussex], just as the first earl was called of Chichester as well 
as of Arundel " (p. 285). But this alternative use of Arundel and Sussex 
is precisely what the author denies above, in the case of the first earl, as 


the husband of Queen Adeliza, was indifferently styled at the 
time (1) Earl of Sussex, (2) Earl of Chichester, (3) Earl of 
Arundel, (4) Earl William de Albini. The proofs of user of 
these styles are as follows. First, he attests as Earl of Sussex 
the Canterbury charter to the Earl of Essex (Christmas, 1141) ; ^ 
he also attests as Earl of Sussex Stephen's charter to Barking 
Abbey, which may have passed about the same time. As this 
charter is of importance for the argument, I append the full 
list of witnesses as extracted by me from the Patent Rolls : — 

«Matilcl[a] Eegina & Will[elm]o Comite de Sudsexa, & Will[elm]o 
Mart[el], & Adam de Belum, & Kog[ero] de Fraxin[eto] & Reinald[n] fil[io] 
Comitis, & Henr[ico] de NovoMercato, & Ric[ard]o de Valderi, & Godefrid[o] 
de Petrivilla, & Wani[erio] de Lusoris, Apud Berching[es].* 

Secondly, it is as "Earl of Chichester" that he attests four 
charters,^ one of which is dated 1147, and is confirmed by King 
Stephen as the grant " quod Comes Willelmus de Arundel fe- 
cit;" it is also as Earl of Chichester that he appears in the Bucken- 
ham foundation charter,^ and that he confirms the grants to 
Boxgrove.^ As to the two other styles no question arises. 

Thus the case of the earldom of Arundel is one of special 
interest in its bearing on the adoption of comital titles. For it 
affords, according to the view I have advanced, an example of 
the use, in a single case, of all the four possible varieties of an 
earl's title. These four possible varieties are those in which 
the title is taken (1) from the county of which the bearer is 
earl, (2) from the capital town of that county, (3) from the 
earl's chief residence, (4) from his family name. Strictly 
speaking, when an earl was created, it was always (whatever 
may be pretended) as the earl of a particular county. The 
earl and his county were essentially con^elative ; nor was it 
then possible to conceive an earl unattached to a county. 
Titles, however, like surnames in that period of transition, had 
not yet crystallized into a hard and fast form, and it was 

' Supra, p. 143. 

2 It is not safe from the concurrence of only three witnesses to assign this 
charter positively to the same period as the Canterbury one. The grant 
•which it records is that of the hundred of Barstable, which Stephen offered 
" super altare beatse Marise et beatae Athelburgae in ecclesia de Berching[es] 
per unum cultellum " (Pat. 2 Hen. VI., p. 3, m. 18). 

' Monasiicon, vi. 1169. * Ibid., vi. 419. ^ Ibid., vi. 645, 


deemed unnecessary, when speaking of an earl, that his conntj 
should always be mentioned. Men spoke of " Earl Geoffrey," 
or of " Geoffrey, Earl of Essex," just as they spoke of " King 
Henry," or of "Henry, King of the English." If the simple 
" Earl Geoffrey " was not sufficiently distinctive, they added 
his surname, or his residence, or his county for the purpose of 
identification. The secondary importance of this addition is 
the key to Norman polyonomy. The founder, for instance, of 
the house of Clare was known as Richard " Fitz-Gilbert," or 
"de Tunbridge," or " de Bienfaite," or " de Clare." The 
result of this system, or rather want of system, was, as we 
might expect, in the case of earls, that no fixed principle guided 
the adoption of their styles. It was indeed a matter of hap- 
hazard which of their cognomina prevailed, and survived to 
form the style by which their descendants were known. Thus, 
the Earls of Herts and of Surrey, of Derby and of Bucks, were 
usually spoken of by their family names of Clare and of 
Warenne, of Ferrers and of Giffard; on the other hand the 
Earls of Norfolk and of Essex, of Devon and of Cornwall, were 
more usually styled by those of their counties. Where the name 
of the county was formed from that of its chief town, the latter, 
rather than the county itself, was adopted for the earl's style. 
Familiar instances are found in the earldoms of Chester, 
Gloucester, and Hereford, of Lincoln, of Leicester, and of 
Warwick. Rarest, perhaps, are those cases in which the earl 
took his style from his chief residence, as the Earls of Pembroke- 
(shire) from Striguil (Chepstow), and, perhaps, of Wiltshire 
from Salisbury, though here the case is a doubtful one, for 
" de Salisbury " was already the surname of the family when 
the earldom was conferred upon it. The Earl of Gloucester is 
spoken of by the Continuator of Florence of Worcester as " Earl 
of Bristol " (see p. 284), and the Earls of Derby occasionally as 
Earls " of Tutbury," but the most remarkable case, of course, is 
that of Arundel itself. It was doubtful for a time by which style 
this earldom would eventually be known, and " Sussex," under 
Henry II., seemed likely to prevail. The eventual adoption of 
Arundel was, no doubt, largely due to the importance of that 
" honour " and of the castle which formed its " head." 

Having now established that the earldom of " Arundel " 



was from the first the earldom of a county, and thus similar 
to every other, one is led to inquire on what ground there is 
claimed for it an absolutely unique and wholly anomalous 
origin. I reply : on none whatever. There is nothing to 
rebut the legitimate assumption that William de Albini was 
created an earl in the ordinary coarse of things. Here, again, 
the facts of the case, few and simple though they are, have 
been so overlaid by assumption and by theory that it is 
necessary to state them anew. All that has been hitherto 
really known is that Queen Adeliza married William de Albini 
between King Henry's death (December, 1185) and the landing 
of the Empress in the autumn of 1139, and that her husband 
subsequently appears as an earl. The assertion that he became 
an earl on his marriage, in virtue of his possession of Arundel 
Castle, is pure assumption and nothing else.^ I have already 
dwelt on the value of the Canterbury charter to Geoffrey as 
evidence not only that William was Earl "of Sussex," but also 
that he was already an earl at Christmas, 114:1. In that charter 
I claim to have discovered the earliest contemporary record 
mention of this famous earldom.* William, therefore, became 
an earl between Christmas, 1135, and Christmas, 1141. This 
much is certain. 

The key to the problem, however, is found in another 
quarter. The curious and valuable Chronicle of the Holy Cross 
of Waltham (Harl. MS., 3776) was the work of one who was 
acquainted — indeed, too well acquainted — with the persons and 

^ Robert of Torigny, a contemporary •witness, speaks of Mm, in 1139, as 
" Willelmus de Albinneio, qui duxerat Aeliz quondam reginam, quae 
habebat castellum et comitatum Harundel, quod rex Henricns dederat ei in 
dote." The possession of Arundel by Queen Adeliza may probably be 
accounted for by William of Malmesbury's statement that Henry I. had 
settled Shropshire on lier, — " uxori suae . . . comitatum Salopesberiae dedit " 
(ed. Slubbs, ii. 529), — for this would represent the forfeited inheritance of the 
house of Montgomery, including Arundel and its rights over Sussex. A 
curious incidental allusion in the Dialogus (i. 7) to "Salop, Sudsex, North- 
umberland, et Cumbtrrland " having only come to pay their firmse to the 
Crown " per incidentes aliquos casus," suggests that, like his neighbour in 
Cheshire, Roger de Montgomery had palatine rights, including the firmx 
of both his counties, Shropshire and Sussex, which escheated to the Grown 
on the forfeiture of his heir. 

• See p. 146. 


the doings of those two nobles, Geoffrey de Mandeville and 
William de Albini. His own neighbourhood became their battle- 
ground, and when William harried Geoffrey's manors, and Geof- 
frey, in revenge, fired Waltham, he was among the sufferers 
himself.^ The pictures he draws of these rival magnates are, 
therefore, of peculiar interest, and his admiration for Geoffrey 
is so remarkable, in the face of the earl's wild deeds, that no 
apology is needed for quoting the description in full : — 

" E contra Gaufridus iste prsecellens multiformi gratia, prsecipuus totius 
Anglie, militia quidem praeclivis, morum venustate prasclarus, in consiliis 
regis et regni moderamine cunctis prseminens, agebat ee inter ceteros quasi 
unus ex illis, nullius probitatis suae garrulus, nuUius probitatis sibi collatse 
vel dignitatis nimius ostensator, rei suae familiaris providus dispensator, 
omnium virtutum communium quae tantum decerent virum affluentia exu- 
berans, si Dei gratiam diligentius acceptam et ceteris prelatam, diligens 
executor menti suae sedulus imprimeret ; novit populus quod non mentior, quern 
si laudibus extulerim, meritis ejus assignari potius quam gratise nostrae id 
debere credimus, verumptamen gratiae divinae de cujus munere venit quicquid 
boni proveuit liomini " (cap. 29). 

" Tempore igitur incendii supra memorati, dum observaret comes ille 
ecclesiam cum multis ne succenderetur, amicissimus ipse et devotus ecclesiae, 
aflflictus multo dolore quod periclitarentur res ecclesiae (non tamen poterat 
manentibus illis injuriam sibi illatam vindicare)," etc. (cap. 31). 

As eager to denounce the character of William as to palliate 
the excesses of Geoffrey, the chronicler thus sketches the 
husband of Queen Adeliza : — 

" Seditionis tempore, cum se inaequaliter agerent homines in terra nostra, 
et de pari contenderet modicus cum magno, humilis cum summo, et fide 
penitus subacta, nullo respectu habito servi ad dominum, sic vacillaret 
regnum et regni status miserabili ductore premeretur fere usque ad exani- 
mationem, e vicino contend ebant inter se duo de praecipuis terrae baronibus, 
Gaufridus de Mandeville, et Comes de Harundel, quern post discessum Regis 
Henrici conjugio Reginae Adelidis contigit honorari, unde et superbire et 
supra se extolli ccepit ultra modum, ut [non] posset sibi pati parem, et 
vilesceret in oculis suis quicquid praecipuura praeter regem in se habebat 
noster mundus. Habebat tunc temporis Willelmus ille, pincerna, nondum 

* " Intra se igitur tanti viri pacis et tranquillitatis metas excedentes et 
seditiose alter alterius predia vastantes contigit Gaufridum furore exagitatum, 
quia succenderat Willelmus domos suas et universam predam terrae suae abigi 
fecerat villam Walthamensem succendere nee posse domibus canonicorum 
parcere quia reliquis domibus erant contigue, testimonium prohibemus qui 
et dampna cum ceteris sustinuimus " (Harl. MS.y 3776). Compare p. 222, 


comes, dotem reginae "NValtham, contiguam terris comitis Gaufridi de 
Mandeville, impatieas quidem omnium comproviQcialium terras suo dominio 
non mancipari.* 

In the words " nondum comes " we find the clue we seek. 
If the- writer had merely abstained from giving William his 
title, the value of his evidence would be slight ; but when he 
goes, as it were, out of his way to inform us that though 
William, in virtue of his marriage, was already in possession of 
the queen's dower, he was " not yet an earl," he tells us, in 
unmistakable language, the very thing that we want to know. 
It was probably in order to accentuate his pride that his critic 
reminds us that the future earl was as yet only a pincerna ; ^ 
but, whatever the motive, the fact remains, on first-hand 
evidence, that William was " not yet an earl " at a time when 
he possessed his wife's dower, and consequently Arundel Castle. 
This fact, hitherto overlooked, is completely destructive of the 
time-honoured belief that he acquired the earldom on, and by, 
obtaining possession of the castle. 

So far, all is clear. But the question is further complicated 
by William appearing in two distinct documents as earl, not of 
Arundel or Chichester, but of Lincoln ! That he held this 
title is a fact so utterly unsuspected, and indeed so incredible, 
that Mr. Eyton, finding him so styled in a cartulary of Lewes 

^ There is a curious incidental allusion to the possession of Waltham by 
the Earl of Arundel (jure uxoris) in the Testa de Nevill (p. 270 h). In an 
inquisition of John's reign we have the entry : " Menigarus le Napier dicit 
quod Rex Henricus, avus [lege proavus] domini Regis feodavit antecessores 
suos per serjantiam de Naperie et dicit quod quando comes de Arundel duxtt 
Beginam Aliciam in uxorem removit illud servicium et fecit inde reddere 
XX sol. per annum et predictus Menigarus tenet," etc. That is, that while 
Waltham was in Henry's hands, he had enfeoffed this man's predecessor by 
serjeanty, but that, this tenure becoming inept when the manor passed to a 
private owner, the earl substituted for it an annual money rent. Note here 
liow Henry provided for his widow from escheats rather than Crown demesne, 
and observe the origin of the name '* Napier," comparing Testa, p. 115 : 
" Robertus Napparius habet feodum unius militis de hereditate uxoris suae 
. . . dominus Rex perdonavit predicto Roberto et heredibus ejus per cartam 
suam predictum servicium miLitare per unam nappam de precio iii sol. vel 
per tres solidos reddendo pro precio illius nappse." And p. 118: "Thomas 
Napar tenet terram suam . . . per serjantiam reddendo singulis annis unam 
nappam - . . et debet esse naparius douiini Regis." 

* This proves, incidentally, the fact that he had succeeded his father in 
this oflQce at the time. 


Priory, dismissed the title, without hesitation, as an obvious 
error of the scribe.^ But I have identified in the Public Record 
Office the actual charter from which the scribe worked, and the 
same style is there employed. Even so, error is possible; but 
the evidence does not stand alone. In a cartulary of Reading "^ 
we find William confirming, as Earl of Lincoln, a grant from 
the queen, his wife, and here again the original charter is there 
to prove that the cartulary is right. ^ The early history of the 
earldom of Lincoln is already difficult enough without this 
additional complication, of which I do not attempt to offer any 

But so far as the earldom of " Arundel " is concerned, I 
claim to have established its true character, and to have shown 
that there is nothing to distinguish it in its origin from the 
other earldoms of the day. The erratic notion of " earldom by 
tenure," held when the strangest views prevailed as to peerage 
dignities, was a fallacy of the 'post hoc propter hoc kind, based on 
the long connection of the castle with the earls. Nor has Mr. 
Freeman's strange fancy that the holder of this earldom is " the 
only one of his class left " any better foundation in fact. 

^ Speaking of the earl's confirmation of a grant by Alan de Dunstanville 
to Lewes Priory, of lands at Newtimber, he writes : *' This confirmation pur- 
ports to be that of William, Earl of Lincoln, but is addressed to his barons 
and men of the honour of Arundel. The mistake of the transcriber is 
obvious " (^History of Shropshire, ii. 273). 

2 Harl MS., 1708, fol. 97. 

3 Add. Cart., 19,586 : '* Ego Willelmus, Comes Lincolnie." 




(See p. 128.) 

This personage, who, as charters show, was in constant atten- 
dance on Stephen, is usually, and very naturally, taken by 
genealogists, from Mr. Eyton downwards, for a younger brother 
of Aubrey de Vere (the chamberlain) and uncle of the first 
Earl of Oxford. He was, however, quite distinct, being a son 
of Bernard de Yere. He owed his position to a marriage with 
Adeline, daughter of Hugh de Montfort, as recorded on the 
Pipe-Roll of 1130. By this marriage he became possessed of 
the honour of Haughley ("Haganet"), and with it (it is 
important to observe) of the office of constable, in which 
capacity he figares among the witnesses to Stephen's Charter of 
Liberties (1136). In conjunction with his wife he founded, on 
her Kentish estate, the Cluniac priory of Monks Horton. 
They were succeeded, in their tenure of the honour, by the 
well-known Henry of Essex, who thus became constable in his 
turn. As supporting this view that the honour carried the 
constableship, attention may be drawn to its compotus as " Honor 
Constabularie " in 1189-90 {Eot Pip., 1 Ric. L, pp. 14, 15), 
just before that of the " Terra que fuit Henrici de Essex." It 
is therefore worth consideration whether Robert de Montfort, 
general to William Rufus — " strator Normannici exercitus here- 
ditario jure " — may not have really held the post of constable. 

The history of the Montfort fief in Kent is of interest from 
the Conquest downwards owing to its inclusion of Saltwood 
and other estates claimed by the Archbishops of Canterbury.^ 

* Saltwood was granted by the Conqueror to Hugh de Montfort, was 
recovered by Lanfranc lu the great placitum on Pennenden Heath, was 
thereafter held by the Montforts from the archbishop as two knights' fees, 


Dugdale is terribly at sea in his account of the Montfort 
descent, wrongly affiliating the Warwickshire Thnrstan (ancestor 
of the Lords Montfort) to the Kentish house, and confusing his 
generations wholesale (especially in the case of Adeline, wife 
of William de Breteuil). 

The fact that Henry of Essex was appealed of treason and 
defeated in the trial by battle by a Robert de Montfort (1163), 
suggests that a grudge on the part of a descendant of the dis- 
possessed line against himself as possessor of their fief may 
have been at the bottom of this somewhat mysterious affair. 

was so held by Henry of Essex as their successor, was seized by the Crown 
upon his forfeiture, was persistently claimed by Becket, and was finally 
restored to the see by Kichard I. 

Note. — Since the abore was in type, there has appeared (J?oi. Pij?., 15 
Hen. II., p. Ill) a most valuable compotus of the ' Honor Constabularie ' (with 
a misleading head-line) for 1169, proving that Gilbert de Gant had held it, 
at one time, under Stephen, and had alienated nearly a third of it. 

( 3^^ ) 


"tower and castle." 

(See p. 149.) 

The description of the Tower by the Empress, in her charter, 
as " turris Londonie cum parvo castello quod fuit Ravengeri," 
and its similar description in Stephen's charter as " turris Lon- 
d[oni8B] cum castello quod ei subest," though at first sight 
singular and obscure, are fraught, when explained, with interest 
and importance in their bearing on military architecture. 

It will be found, on reference to the charter granted to 
Aubrey de Yere (p. 180), that the Empress gives him Colchester 
Castle as " turrim et castellum de Colcestr[a]," a grant con- 
firmed by her son as that of " turrim de Colcestr[a] et cas- 
tellum " (p. 185 n.), and, in later days, by Henry VIII., as 
" Castrum et turrim de Colcestr[a]." ^ Further, in the charter 
to William de Beauchamp (p. 313), we find Worcester Castle 
described as "castellum de Wigorn[ia] cum mota," Hereford 
Castle being similarly described in the charter granted at the 
same time to Miles de Gloucester as " motam Hereford cum 
toto castello." Before proceeding to the inferences to be 
drawn from these expressions, it may be as well to strengthen 
them by other parallel examples. Taking first the case of 
Colchester, we turn to a charter of Henry I., granted to his 
favourite, Eudo Dapifer, at the Christmas court of 1101,^ in 
which Colchester Castle is similarly described : — 

" Henricus Rex AngliaB Mauricio Lond. Episcopo et Hugoni de Bochelanda 
et omnibus baronibus suis Anglis et Francis de Essex salutem. Sciatis ine 
dedisse benigne et ad amorem concessisse Eudoni Dapifero meo Civitatem 
de Colecestra et turrim et castellum et omnes ejusdem civitatis firmitates Cum 
omnibus quae ad illam pertinent sicut pater meus et frater et ego eam mehus 

» Fosdera (O.E.), xiii. 251. See p. 179. 

' The internal evideuce determines its date. 


habuimus et cum omnibus consuetudinibus illis quas pater meus et frater et 
ego in ea unquam habuimus. Et hsec concessio facta fuit apud Westmon- 
aster in primo natali post concordiam Robert! comitis fratris met de me et 
de illo. 

" T. Rob. Ep. Lincoln et W. Gifardo Wintoniensi electo et Rob. Com. de 
Mellent. et Henr. Com. fr. ejus et Roger Bigoto et Gisleberti fil. Richard et 
Rob. fil. Baldwin et Ric. fratr. ejus." ^ 

Tarning to Hereford, we find its description as " mota cum 
toto castello " recurring in the confirmation by Henry IT. and 
the recital of that confirmation by John.^ There is another 
example sufficiently important to deserve separate treatment. 
This is that of Grloucester. 

We find that, in 1137, " Milo constabularins Glocestrie " 
granted to the canons of " Llanthony the Second " 
" Tota oblatio custodum turris et castelli et Baronum ibi commorantium." ' 

Here again the correctness of the description is fortunately 

confirmed by subsequent evidence ; for John recites (April 28, 

1200) a charter of his father, Henry II. (which is assigned by 

Mr. Eyton to the spring of 1155), granting to Miles's son, Roger, 

Earl of Hereford, 

" custodiam turris Gloc* cum toto castello,** etc., etc. ..." per eandem firmam 
quam reddere solebat comes Milo pater ejus tempore H. R. avi mei ; " * 

while Robert of Torigny speaks, independently, of " discordia 
quae erat inter regem Anglorum Henricum et Rogerium, filium 
Milonis de Gloecestria, propter turrim, Gloecestrie." ^ The 

^ " Collectanea quaedam eorum quae ad Historiam illustrandam conducunt 
selecta ex Registro MSS. sive breviario Monasterii saucti Johauuis Baptistas 
Colecestrise coUecto (sic') a Joh. Hadlege speetaiite Johanni Lucas armigero. 
Anno Domini, 1633 " {Harl. MS., 312, fol. 92). This charter (which, being 
in MS., was unknown, of course, to Prof. Freeman) has also an incidental 
value for its evidence on the Clare pedigree, Gilbert, Robert, and Richard, 
the witnesses, being all grandsons of Count Gilbert, the progenitor of the 
house. Among the documents in the Monasticon relating to Bee, we find 
mention of " Emmse uxoris Baldewini filii Comitis Gilberti et filiorum ejus 
Roberti et Ricardi," which singularly confirms the accuracy of this charter 
and its list of witnesses. This is worth noting, because the charter is 
curious in form, and has been described as having " a suspicious ring." It is 
also found in (Morant's) transcript of the Colchester cartulary (Stowe MSS.). 

2 Cart, 1 John, m. 6. ' Mon. Ang. (1661), ii. 66 b. 

* Cart., 1 John, m. 6 (printed in Appendix 5 to Lords' Reports on Dignity 
of a Peer, pp. 4, 5). 

* Ed. Hewlett, p. 184. 


" tower " of Gloucester is also referred to in the Pipe- Roll of 
1156,^ and in the Cartulary of Gloucester Abbey." The im- 
portance of its mention lies in the fact that it establishes the 
character of Gloucester Castle, and proves that what the lead- 
ing authority has written on the subject is entirely erroneous. 
Mr. G. T. Clark, in his great work on our castles, refers thus 
to Gloucester : — 

" The castle of Gloucester . . . was the base of all extended operations in 
South Wales. Here the kings of England often held their court, and here 
their troops were mustered. Brichtric had a castle at Gloucester, hut his 
mound has long been removed, and with it all traces of the Norman huUding." ' 

In another place he goes further still : — 

" Gloucester, a royal castle, stood on the Severn bank, at one angle of the 
Roman city. It had a mound and a shell-heep, now utterly levelled, and the 
site partially built over. It was the muster-place and starting-point for 
expeditions against South "Wales, and the not infrequent residence of the 
Norman sovereigns.*' * 

It may seem rash, in the teeth of these assertions, to main- 
tain that this mound and its shell-keep are alike imaginary, but 
the word " turris " proves the fact. For, as Mr. Clark himself 
observes with perfect truth, 

" in the convention between Stephen and Henry of Anjou [1153] the dis- 
tinction is drawn between 'Turrts Londineusis et Mota de Windesora,' London 
having a square keep or tower, and Windsor a shell-keep upon a mound." * 

So the keep of Gloucester, being a " turris " and not a 
" mota," was clearly "a square tower" and not "a shell-keep 
upon a mound." The fact is that !Mr. Clark's assertions would 
seem to be a guess based on the hypothesis, itself (as could be 
shown) untenable, that ''Brichtric had a castle at Gloucester." 
Assuming from this the existence of a mound, he must further 
have assumed that the K'ormans had crowned it, as elsewhere, 
with a shell-keep. But the true character of this great fortress 
is now determined. 

* " In operibus Turris de Gloec' vii li. vi «. ii d." (Pipe-Roll, 2 Hen. II., 
p. 78). 

- Henry I. gave land to the abbey (1109) "in escambium pro placia ubi 
nunc turris stat Gloecestrie " (i. 59). 

^ Mediseval Military Architecture, i. 108. * Ibid., i. 79. 

* Ihid., i. 29 (cf. " Mota de Hereford "—Eot. Pip., 15 Hen. II., p. UO). 


Two examples of the double style shall now be adduced 
from castles outside England. In Normandy we have an entry, 
in 1180, referring to expenditure " in operationibus domorum 
turris et castri,'^ etc., at Caen ; ^ in Ireland the grant of Dublin 
Castle to Hugh de Laci (1172) is thus related in the so-called 
poem of Matthew Regan (11. 2713-2716) :— 

" Li riche rei ad dune bailie 
Dyvelin en garde la cite 
E la chastel e le dongun 
A Huge de Laci le barun." 

The phrase, it will be seen, corresponds exactly with those 
employed to describe the castles of Carlisle and Appleby, at the 
same period : — 

" Mes voist au rei Henri, si face sa clamur 
Que jo tieng Carduil, le chastel e la tur^ 

" Li reis out ubblie par itant sa dolur 
Quant avait Appelbi, le chastel e la tur.** ^ 

Having thus established the use of the phrase, let us now 
pass to its origin. 

I would urge that it possesses the peculiar value of a genuine 
transition form. It preserves for us, as such, the essential fact 
that there went to the making of the mediaeval " castle "two 
distinct factors, two factors which coalesced so early that the 
original distinction between them was already being rapidly 
forgotten, and is only to be detected in the faint echoes of this 
"transition form." 

The two factors to which I refer were the Roman casfrum 
or castellum and the mediaeval " motte " or "tour." The former 
survived in ihe fortified enclosure ; the latter, in the central keep. 
The Latin word castellum (corresponding with the Welsh caer) 
continued to be regularly used as descriptive of a fortified 
enclosure, whether surrounded by walls or earthworks.^ It is 

^ Botuli scaccarii Normannias (ed. Stapleton), i. 56. The " turris " had 
been added by Henry I. (vide infra, p. 333). With the above entry may be 
compared the phrase in one of Kichard's despatches (1198) — "castrum cepimus 
cum turre" (-B. Howden, iv. 58); also the expression, "tunc etiam comes 
turrem et castellum funditus evertit," applied to Geoffrey's action at Montreuil 
(circ. 1152) by Robert de Torigny (ed. Hewlett, p. 159). 

2 Clironique de Jordan Fantosme (edi. Hewlett), 11. 1423, 1424, 1469, 1470. 

' It is even applied by Giraldus Cambrensis to the turf entrenchment 
thrown up by Arnulf de Montgomery at Pembroke. 


singular how mticli confusion has resulted from the over- 
looking of this simple fact and the retrospective application of 
the denotation of the later "castle." Thus Theodore, in the 
seventh century, styles the Bishop of Rochester, "Episcopus 
GastelU Cantuariorum, quod dicitur Hrofesceaster " {Bceda, iv. 5) ; 
and Mr. Clark gives several instances, from the eighth and 
ninth centuries, in which Rochester is alternatively styled a 
" civitas " and a " castellum." ^ So again, in the ninth century, 
where the chroniclers, in 876 a.d., describe how " bestael se here 
into Werham," etc., Asser and Florence paraphrase the statement 
by saying that the host ^^ castellum quod dicitur Werham intra vit." 
Now, it is obvious that there could be no " castle " at Wareham 
in 876, and that even if there had been, an "army " could not 
have entered it. But when we bear in mind the true meaning 
of " castellum," at once all is clear. As Professor Freeman 
observes, "Wareham is a fortified town."^ Its famous and 
ancient defences are thus described by Mr. Clark : — 

" In fi^re the town is nearly square, the west face about 600 yards, the 
north face 650 yards . . . The outline of this rectangular figure is an earth- 
work, within which the town was built." ' 

Such then was the nature of the " castellum," within which 
the host took shelter.^ Passing now to a diJfferent instance, we 
find the Greek Koifxr) (" a village ") represented by "castellum " 
in the Latin Gospels (Matt. xxi. 2), and this actually Englished 
as " castel " in the English Gospels of 1000 a.d.^ Here again, 
confasion has resulted from a misunderstanding. 

» M. M. A., ii. 420. ' English Towns and Districts, p. 152. 

' Mediaeval Military Architecture, ii. 514. 

* There is a strange use of '•castellum," apparently in this sense, in 
William of Malmesbury's version (ii. 119) of Godwine's speech on the Dover 
riot (1051). The phrase is " magnates illius castelli," which Mr. Freeman 
unhesitatingly renders "the magistrates of that town " (Norm. Conq., 2nd ed., 
ii. 135), a rendering which should be compared with his remarks on "castles" 
on the next page but one, and in Appendix S. Mr. Clark is of opinion that 
" whether ' castellum' can [here] be taken for more than the fortified town 
is uncertain " (M. M. A., ii. 8). 

* Skeat's Etymological Dictionary; Oliphant's Old and Middle English, 
p. 37. It is not, therefore, strictly accurate to say of the expression " aeune 
castel," in the chronicle for 1048, that it was " no English name," as Mr. 
Freeman asserts (Norm. Conq., 2nd ed., ii. 137), or to imply that it then first 
appeared in the language. 


As against the castellum, the fortified enclosure, we have a 
new and distinct type of fortress, the outcome of a different 
state of society, in the single "motte" or "tour." I shall not 
here enter into the controversy as to the relation between these 
two forms, my space being too limited. For the present, we 
need only consider the " motte " (mota) as a mound {agger) 
crowned by a stronghold (whether of timber or masonry), but 
not, as Mr. Clark has clearly shown, " crowned with the square 
donjon," as so strangely imagined by Mr. Freeman.^ In the 
" tour " (turris) we have, of course, the familiar keep of 
masonry, rectangular in form, and independent of a mound. 

The process, then, that we are about to trace is that by 
which the " motte" or "tour " coalesced with the castellum, and 
by which, from this combination, there was evolved the later 
" castle." For my theory amounts to this : in the mediseval 
fortress, the keep and the castellum were elements different in 
origin, and, for a time, looked upon as distinct. It was im- 
possible that the compound fortress, the result of their com- 
bination, should long retain a compound name ; there must be 
one name for the entire fortress, either "tour" {turris) or 
"chastel " (castellum). Which was to prevail ? 

This question may have been decided by either of two con- 
siderations. On the one hand, the relative importance of the 
two factors in the fortress may have determined the ultimate 
form of its style ; on the other — and this, perhaps, is the more 
probable explanation — the older of the two factors may have 
given its name to the whole. For sometimes the keep was 
added to the "castle," and sometimes the "castle" to the keep. 
The former development is the more familiar, and three striking 
instances in point will occur below. For the present I will 
only quote a passage from Robert de Torigny, to whom we are 
specially indebted for evidence on military architecture : — 

[1123] " Henricus rex . . . turrem nihilominus excelsam fecit in castello 
Cadomensi, et murum ipsius castelli, quern pater suus fecerat, in altum 
crevit. . . . Item castellum quod vocatur Archas, turre et moenibus mirabiliter 
firmavit. . . . Turrem Vernonis similiter fecit." ^ 

^ Norman Conquest (2nd ed.), ii. 189. 

2 Ed. Hewlett, p. 106. Robert also mentions (p. 126) the "towers" of 
Evreux, Alen9on, and Coutancea as among those constructed by Henry I. 


More interesting for ns is the other case, tliat in which the 
" castle " was added to the keep, becanse it is that of the 
respective strongholds in the capitals of Normandy and of 
England. The " Tower of Rouen " and the " Tower of London " 
— for such were their well-known names — were both older than 
their surrounding wards (castra or castella). William Eufus 
built a wall " circa turrim Londoniae " (Henry of Suntingdon) : ^ 
his brother and successor built a wall " circa turrim Rotho- 
magi.""'^ The former enclosed what is now known as "the 
Inner Ward" of the Tower,^ the " parvum castellum " of 
Maud's charter.^ 

Of " the Tower of Rouen " I could say much. Perhaps 
its earliest undoubted mention is in or about 1078 (the exact 
date is doubtful), when Robert " Courthose," revolting from 
his father " Rotomagnm expetiit, et arcem regiam furtim prae- 
occupare sategit. Verum Rogerius de Iberico . . . qui turrim 

^ " About the Tower," as the chronicle expresses it. 

2 " HenricTis Kex circa turrem Rothomagi . . . murum altum et latum 
cum propugnaculis sedificat, et sedificia ad mansiouem regiam congrua infra 
eundem mnrum parat " (Eohert of Torigny, ed. Hewlett, p. 106). 

^ I can make nothing of Mr. Clark's chronology. In his description of 
the Tower be first tells us that " all save the keep [i.e. the "White Tower] is 
later, and most of it considerably later than the eleventh century " (M. M.A., 
ii. 205), and then that " the Tower of the close of the reign of Eufus " (i.e. 
he/ore the end of '* the eleventh century ") . . . was probably coai posed of the 
White Tower with a palace ward upon its south-east side, and a wall, probably 
that we now see, and certainly along its general course, including what is 
now known as the inner ward " {ibid., ii. 253). Again, as to the Wakefield 
Tower, which " deserves very close attention, its lower story being next to 
the keep in antiquity " (ihid., ii. 220), Mr. Clark tells us that Gundulf (who 
died in llOS) was the founder "perhaps of the Wakefield Tower" (ibid., ii. 
252); nay, that " Devereux Tower "... may be as old as Wakefield, and 
therefore in substance the work of Eufus" {ibid., ii. 253); and yet we learn 
of this same basement, that "the basement of Wakefield Tower is probably 
late Xorman, perhaps of the reign of Sieplien or Henry II., although this is 
no doubt early for masonry so finely jointed " (^ibid., ii. 224). In other words, 
a structure which was " the work of Kufus," i.e. of 1087-1100, can only be 
attributed, at the very earliest, to the days of " Stephen or Henry II.," i.e. 
to 1135-1189. 

* The very same phrase is employed by Robert de Torigny in describing 
her husband's action at Torigny ten years later (1151): "dux obsederat 
castellum Torinneium, sed propter adventum Regis infecto negotio disces- 
serat; combustis tameu domibus infra muros usque ad turrem et parvum 
castellum circa earn " (ed. Hewlett, p. 161). 


custodiebat . . . diligenter arcem prsemunivit," Ordericus here, 
as often, using turris and arx interchangeably.^ Passing over 
other notices of this stronghold, we come in 1090 to one of 
those tragic deeds by which its history was destined to be 
stained.^ Mr. Freeman has told the tale of Conan's attempt 
and doom.^ The duke, who was occupying the Tower, left it 
at the height of the struggle,^ but on the triumph of his party, 
and the capture of Conan, the prisoner was claimed by Henry 
for his prey and was led by him to an upper story of the Tower. ^ 
At this point I pause to discuss the actual scene of the tragedy. 
Mr. Freeman writes as follows : — 

" Conan himself was led into the castle^ and there Henry took him. . . . 
The ^theling led his victim up through the several stages of the loftiest 
tower of the castle," etc., etc.® 

Here the writer misses the whole point of the topography. 

The scene of Conan's death was no mere " tower of the castle," 

but " the Tower," the Tower of Rouen — Botomagensis turris, as 

William here terms it. He fails to realize that the Tower of 

Rouen held a similar position to the Tower of London. Thus, 

in 1098, when Helias of Le Mans was taken prisoner, we 

read that " Rotomagum usque productus, in arce ipsius civi- 

tatis in vincula conjectus est" (Vetera Analecta'), which Wace 

renders : — 

*' Li reis a Roem I'enveia 
E garder le recomenda 
En la tour le rova garder." 

1 Ord. Vit, ii. 296. 

2 A curious touch in a legend of the time brings before us in a vivid 
manner the impression that this mighty tower had made upon the Norman 
mind. Hugh de Glos, an oppressor of the poor, appearing, after death, to a 
priest by night (1090), declared that the burden he was compelled to bear 
seemed "heavier to carry than the Tower of Eouen " (" Ecce candens 
ferrum molendiui gesto in ore, quod sine dubio mihi videtur ad ferendum 
gravius Eotomagensi arce." — Ord. Vit, iii. 373). 

^ W. Rufus, I 245-260. 

* " De arce prodiit" {Ord. Vit, iii. 353). Arx, here as above, is used as 
a substitute for turris. 

* " Conanus autem a victoribus in arcem ductus est. Quem Henricus per 
solaria turris ducens" (ibid., iii. 355), "In superiora Rotomagensis turris 
duxit" (W. Malms.). 

« W. Rufus, i. 256, 257. 



Again, even in tlie next reign, a royal charter, assigned bj 
Mr. Eyton to 1114-15, is tested, not at the *' castle " of 
Rouen, bnt " in turre Rothomagensi." ^ And so, two reigns 
after that, a century later than Conan's death, we find the 
custodes of "the Tower 'of Rouen" entered in the Exchequer 
Rolls, where it is repeatedly styled " turris." 

Thus at Rouen, as at London, the " Tower " not only pre- 
served its name, but ultimately imposed it on the whole fortress. 
And precisely as the Tower of London is mentioned in 1141 
by the transition style of "turris Londoniee cum castello," so in 
1146 we find Duke Geoffrey repairing " sartatecta turris Rotho- 
magensis et castelli," after it fell into his hands. ^ 

Here then we have at length the explanation of a difficulty 
often raised. Why is " the Tower of London " so styled ? ^ 
And although, in England, the style may now be unique, men 
spoke in the days of which I write of the " Tower " of Bristol 
or of Rochester as of the Tower of Gloucester.* Abroad, 
the form was more persistent, and special attention may be 
drawn to the Tower of Le Mans ("Turris Cenomannica)," ^ 
because the expression " regia turris " which Ordericus applies 
to it is precisely that which Florence of Worcester applies, in 
1114, to the Tower of London, to which it bore an affinity in 
its relation to the Roman Wall.^ 

All that I have said of the "turris" keep is applicable to 
the " mota " also, mutatis mutandis, for the motte, though its 
name was occasionally extended to the whole fortress, was 
essentially the actual keep, the crowned mound, as is well 
brought out in the passages quoted by Mr. Clark from French 
charters : — 

*' he motte etlesfossez d'entour . . . le motte de Maiex . . . le motte de 
mon manoir de Caieux et lesfossez d'entour." '' 

> Ord. Vit, V. (Appendix) 199. See p. 422. 
2 Bohert of Torigny (ed. Hewlett), p. 153. 

' My alternative explanation of the choice of style, namely, the importance 
of the keep itself relatively to the " castellum," must also be borne in mind. 

* '' [Rex] in turri de Bristou captivus ponitur . . . [Imperatrix] obsedit 
turrim Wintonensis episcopi . . . Eobertus frater Imperatricis in cujus turri 
Rex captivus erat " (//en. Hunt, p. 275). 

* "In turri Cenomannica" (Annales Veteres, 311). 

* The Tower of Rouen, we have seen (p. 334), was styled " arx re^a." 

' A fine " motte " is visible from the line between Calais and Paris (on 


Here tbe " fossez d'entour " represent the surrounding works, 
the " castellum " referred to in the charters of the Empress. 
But between "the right to hold a moot there," "the moat 
{sic) and castle " as Mr. Hallam rendered it, " the moat {sic) 
probably the motte'' of Mr. Clark (ii. 112), and the clever 
evasion " mote " in the Reports on the Dignity of a Peer {Third 
Report, p. 163), the unfortunate " mota " of Hereford has had 
a singular fate. 

And now for the results of those conclusions that I have 
here endeavoured to set forth. The three castles to which I 
shall apply them are those of Rochester, of Newcastle, and of 

In an elaborate article on the keep of Rochester, Mr. 
Hartshorne showed that it was erected, not as was believed 
by Gundulf, but by Archbishop William of Corbeuil,^ between 
1126 and 1139. But he did not attempt to explain what was 
the " castle of stone " which Gundulf is recorded to have there 
constructed. As everything turns on the exact wording, I here 
give the relevant portions of the document in point: — 

" Quomodo Willelmus Rex filius Willelmi Regis rogatu Lanfranci Arclii- 
episcopi concessit et confirmavit Rofensi ecclesise S. Andrese Apostoli ad 
victum Monachorum mauerium nomine Hedenliam ; quare Gundulfus Epis- 
copus Castrum Rofense lapideum totum de suo proprio Regi construxit. 

"Gundulfus . . . illis contulit beneficium . . . castrum etenim, quod situm 
est in pulchriore parte Hrovecestrae. . . . Regi consuluerunt [duo amici] 
quatinus . . . Gundulfus, quia in opere csementarii plurimum sciens et 
efl&cax erat, castrum sibi Hrofense lapideum de suo construeret . . . Dixerunt 
[Archiepiscopus et Episcopus] . . . quotiescunque quidlibet ex infortunio 
aliquo casu in castro illo contingeret aut infractione muri aut fissura maceriei, 
id piotinus . . . exigeretur, . . . Hoc pacto coram Rege inito fecit castrum 
Gundulfus Episcopus de suo ex integro totum, costamine, ut reor, Ix libra- 

>' 2 

Though castrum is the term used throughout, Mr. Parker 
in his essay on The Buildings of Gundulph, 1863, assumed that 
a tower must be meant, and wrote of " Gundulf 's tower" in 
the Cathedral : " This is probably the tower which Gundulph 

the right) ; another, as I think, stood on the Lea, between Bow Bridge and 
the " Old Ford," and is (or was) well seen from the Great Eastern line. 

^ Archaeological Journal, xx. 205-223 (1863). 

« Anglia Sacra (ed. Wharton), i. 337, 338. 


is recorded to have built at tlie cost of £60." ^ So too, Mr. 
Clark wrote : — 

"As to his architectural skill and his work at Rochester Castle, . . . the 
bishop [was] to employ his skill, and spend £60 in building a castle, fhat is, 
a tower of some sort. What Gundulf certainly built is the tower which still 
bears his name. ... It may be that Gundulf's tower was removed to make 
way for the new keep, but in this case its materials would have been made 
use of, and some trace of them would be almost certain to be detected. But 
there is no such trace, so that probably the new keep did not supersede the 
other tower." * 

Mr. Freeman guardedly observes : — 

" The noble tower raised in the next age by Archbishop "Walter (sic) of 
Corbeuil . . . had perhaps not even a forerunner of its own class. 

" Mr. Hartshorne showed distinctly that the present tower of Rochester was 
not built by Gundulf, but by William of Corbeuil. . . . But we have seen 
(see N. C, vol. iv. p. 366) that Gundulf did build a stone castle at Rochester 
for William Rufus (' castrura Hrofense lapidum ' [sic']), and we should most 
naturally look for it on the site of the later one. On the other hand, there 
is a tower seemingly of Gundulfs building and of a military rather than an 
ecclesiastical look, which is now almost swallowed up between the transepts 
of the cathedral. But it would be strange if a tower built for the king stood 
in the middle of the monastic precinct." ' 

Thus the problem is left unsolved by all fonr writers. 
But the true interpretation of castrum, as established by me 
above, solves it at once. For just as William of Corbeuil is 
recorded to have built the " turris " or rectangular keep,* so 
Gundulf is described as constructing the castrum or forti6ed 
enclosure.^ We must look, therefore, for his work in the wall 
that girt it round. And there we find it. Mr. Clark himself 
is witness to the fact : — 

" Part of the curtain of the enceinte of Rochester Castle may also be Gun- 
dulph's work. The south wall looks very early, as does the east wall." ^ 

But Mr. Irvine had already, in 1874, pointed out, in a brief 
but valuable communication, that a distinctive peculiarity of 

^ Gentleman's Magazine, N.S., xv. 260. 

' Mediseval Military ArchitectureAi- i2l,'i22. ' William Rufus, i. 53,54:. 

* " Egregia turris " is the expression of Gervase (Actus Pontijicum). 

* The "castrum lapideum '' (c irapare the three "castra lapidea ' erected 
for the blockade of Montreuil in 1149) is so styled to distinguish it from the 
" castrum ligueum," which occurs so often, and which Mr. Freeman so per- 
sistently renders "tower." 

* Medixval Military Architecture, ii. 419. 


Gandulf's work — the absence of plintli to his buttresses — is 
found "in the castle wall at Rochester (also his)."^ Thus, 
it will be seen, the character of the work independently confirms 
my own conclusion. 

Some confusion, it may be well to add, has been caused by 
such forms as " castellum Hrofi " and " castrum quod nominatur 
Hrofesceaster." In these early forms (as in some other cases), 
" castrum " denotes the whole of Rochester, girt by its Roman 
wall, and not (as Mr. Hartshorne assumed throughout) the 
castle enclosure. Mr. Clark leaves the point in doubt.^ 

Before leaving Rochester, I would point out that, unlike the 
rest of Gundulf's work, this castrum can be closely dated. The 
conjunction of Lanfranc and William Rufus, in the story of its 
building, limits it to September, 1087 — March, 1089, while Odo's 
rebellion would probably postpone its construction till his 
surrender. It is most unfortunate, therefore, that Mr. Clark 
should write, " This transaction between the bishop and the 
king occurred about 1076,"^ when neither Gundulf was 
bishop nor William king. 

To the case of Newcastle and its keep, I invite special 
attention, because we have here the tacit admission of Mr. 
Clark himself that he has antedated, incredible though it may 
seem, by more than ninety years the erection of this famous 
keep. To prove this, it is only necessary to print his own 
conclusions side by side : — 

(1080.) (1172-74.) 
"Of this masonry there is but "Newcastle is an excellent ex- 
little which can be referred to the ample of a rectangular Norman 
reign of the Conqueror or William keep. 

Rufus, — that is, to the eleventh cen- "Its condition is perfect, its date 

tury. Of that period are certainly known (^sic), and being late (1172- 

(sic) . . . the keeps of Chester, . . . 74) in its style, it is more ornate than 

and Newcastle, though this last looks is usual in its details, and is furnished 

later than its recorded {sic) date. . . . with all the peculiarities of a late 

Carlisle . . . received from Rufus a (sic) Norman work, 

castle and a keep, now standing; "The present castle is an excellent 

^ Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xxxi., 471, 472. 

2 Both writers, also, mistake a general exemption from the trinoda 
necessitas for a special allusion to Rochester keep. 
2 Mediseval Military Architecture, ii. 421. 


and Newcastle, similarly provided in example of tlie later (sic) form of 

1080, also retains its keep. . . . The the rectangular Norman keep. . . . 

castle of Newcastle . . . was built by Newcastle has its fellow in the keep 

Eobert Curthose in 1080, and is a of Dover, known to have been the 

very perfect example of a rectangular work of Henry the Second " (^Archxo- 

Norman keep. Newcastle, built in logical Journal, 1884). 
1080, has very many chambers" 
(Medideval Military Architecture, 1884, 
i. 40, 49, 94, 128. 

The origin, of course, of the astounding error by wMcli " the 
great master of military architecture " misdated this keep by 
nearly a century/ and took an essentially late work for one of 
the earliest in existence, was the same fatal delusion that 
castrum or castellum meant precisely what it did not mean, 
namely, a tower. " Castellum novum super flumen Tyne 
condidit " is the expression applied to Robert's work in 1080, 
and the absence of a "tower " explains the fact that Fantosme 
makes no mention of a " tur " when describing " Le Noef 
Chasteau sur Tyne," the existing keep not being available at 
the time of which he wrote. 

We now come to our last case, that of the Chateau d'Arques. 

" Arques," writes Mr. Clark, " is one of the earliest examples 
of a Norman castle." ^ It is, Mr. Freeman holds, " a fortress 
which is undoubtedly one of the earliest and most important 
in the history of Norman military architecture."^ No apology, 
therefore, is needed for discussing the date of this celebrated 
structure, so long a subject of interest and of study both to 
English and to French archaeologists. 

As at Colchester and in other places, the very wildest theories 
have been generally advanced, and archaeologists have only 
gradually sobered down till they have virtually agreed upon 
a date for this keep which is actually, I venture to think, less 
than a century wrong. 

In his noble monograph upon the fortress, the basis of all 
subsequent accounts,^ M. Deville enumerates, with contemptuous 

^ Mr. J. R. Boyle has shown that nearly £1000 was spent upon it between. 
1172 and 1177, when it was, therefore, in course of erection. 
^ Mediseval Military Architecture, i. 186. 
' Norman Conquest, iii. 182. 
* Histoire du Chateau d'Arques, by A. Deville, pp. x., 412 (Eouen). 


amusement (pp. 49, 268-272), the rival theories that it was 
built (1) by the Romans; (2) by " Clotaire I." in 553— the date 
1553 on one of the additions for the structure having actually 
been so read ; (3) by " Charles Martel " in 745, 747, or 749 (on 
the strength of another reading of the same date, confirmed by 
a carving of his coat-of-arms) — these being the dates given by 
Houard and Toussaint-Duplessis. At the time when Deville 
himself wrote the study of castles was still in its infancy, and. 
of the two sources of evidence now open to us, the internal 
(that of the structure itself) and the external (that of chronicles 
and records), the latter alone was ripe for use. Now, at 
Arques, precisely as at our own Rochester, the written evidence 
has hitherto appeared conflicting to archaeologists, but only 
because the language employed has never yet been rightly 
understood. On the one hand we read in William of Jumieges, 
an excellent authority in the matter, that " Hie Willelmus 
[the Conqueror's uncle] castrum Archarum in cacumine ipsius 
montis condidit ; " and in the Chronicle of Fontenelle, that this 
same William " Areas castrum in pago Tellau primus statuit ; " 
also, in William of Poitiers, that " id munimentum . . . ipse 
primus fundavit : " on the other, we read in Robert du Mont, a 
first-rate and contemporary authority, who may indeed be 
termed a specialist on the subject, that " Anno MCXXIII. 
castellum quod vocatur Archas turre et moenibus mirabiliter 
firmavit [Rex Henricus]."^ 

M. de Caumont, that industrious pioneer, whose work 
appeared four years before that of M. Deville, boldly followed 
Robert du Mont, and confidently assigned the existing keep to 
1123.' Guided, however, by M. Le Pre vest (1824), he held that 
the original structure was raised by the Conqueror's uncle, and 
that Henry I. merely " fit recoustruire en en tier le donjon et 
une partie des murs d'enceinte." M. Deville, on the contrary, 
in his eager zeal for the honour and glory of the castle, stoutly 
maintained that, keep and all, it was clearly Count William's 
work. He admitted that his Norman brother-antiquaries as- 
signed it to Henry I., but urged that they had overlooked the 
evidence of the structure, and its resemblance to English keeps 

^ Ed. Hewlett, p. 106. 

' Cours d'antiquites monumentales (1835), v. 227, 228. 


assigned (but, as we now know, wrongly) to the eleventh 
century, or earlier ; ^ and that they had misunderstood the 
passage in Robert du Mont, which must have referred to mere 
alterations. In order thus to explain it away, he contends 
(and this contention Mr. Clark strangely accepts) that Robert 
says the same — which he does not — of " Gisors, Falaise, and 
other castles known" — which they are not^ — " to be of earlier 
date " (il/. M. A., i. 194). Lastly, he appeals, though with an 
apology for doing so (" s'il nous etait permis d'invoquer a 
I'appui de notre opinion "), to the far later " Chronique de 
Normandie " for actual evidence, elsewhere wanting, that the 
keep itself {turris) was built by William of Arques,^ that is, in 

" I went over the castle minutely," Professor Freeman 
writes, " in May, 1868, with M. Deville's book in hand, and can 
bear witness to the accuracy of his description, though I cannot 
always accept his inferences" (N. C, iii. 124, note). He accord- 
ingly doubts M. Deville's date for the gateway and walls of the 
inner ward, but sees "no reason to doubt that the ruined keep 
is part of the original work " {ibid.). We must remember, how- 
ever, that the Professor is at direct variance with Mr. Clark on 
the Norman rectangular keeps, for which he claims an earlier 
origin than the latter can concede. 

Turning now to Mr. Clark himself, we leam from him 
that — 

" it seems probable that the keep is the oldest part of the masonry, and the 
work of the Conqueror's uncle, Guillaume d'Arques, and it is supposed to be 
one of the earliest, if not the earliest, of the rectangular keeps known " 
(M. M. A., i. 194). 

He adds that the passage in Robert du Mont 

" has been held to show that the whole structure was the work of Henry, 
who reiorned from 1105 (sic) to 1135, and the extreme boldness of the 
buttresses and superincumbent constructions of the keep no doubt favour 

^ Colchester, in Arcliseologia, to which he refers, was attributed to Edward 
the Elder, and Rochester was, of course, as yet, believed to be the work of 

2 Compare Professor Freeman on Falaise : " More probably, I think, of 
the twelfth than of the eleventh [century]" {Norm. Conq., ii. 175). 

3 aidieau d'Arques, pp. 307-312. * Ibid., pp. 48, 267. 


this view ; but, as M. Deville remarks in the same passage, similar reference 
is made to Gisors, Falaise, and other castles, known to be of earlier 
date" (ibid.). 

To resume. The external or written evidence is as follows. 
On the one hand, we have the clear and positive statement of 
a contemporary writer, Robert du Mont, that Henry I. built 
this keep in 1123. On the other, we have no statement from 
any contemporary that it was built by William of Arques (in 
1039-1043). He is merely credited with founding the castellum, 
and in none of the contemporary accounts of its blockade and 
capture by his nephew is there any mention of a turris. The 
distinction between a castellum and a turris^ with their respective 
independence, has not, as I have shown, hitherto been realized, 
and it is quite in the spirit of older students that M. Deville 
confidently exclaims — 

"Or, con9oit-on un chateau-fort sans murailles? Un chateau-fort sans 
donjon, dans le cours du XP siecle, en Normandie, n'est guere plus ration- 
ner'(p. 310). 

As to the " murailles," Mr. Clark has taught ns that palisades 
were not replaced by walls till a good deal later than has been 
usually supposed ; and as to the " donjon," if, as I have estab- 
lished, so important a fortress as Eochester was without a keep 
in the eleventh, and indeed well into tbe twelfth century, other 
castella must have been similarly destitute — probably, for 
instance, Newcastle, as we have seen, and certainly Exeter, 
of which Mr. Clark whites : " There is no evidence of a keep, 
nor, at so great a height, was any needed " (M. M. A., ii. 47). 
The same argument from strength of position would a fortiori 
apply to Arques, and there is, in short, no reason for doubting 
that the castrum of William of Arques need not have included 

a turris} 

On what, then, rests the assertion that the keep was the 
work of the Conqueror's uncle ? Strange as it may seem, it 
rests solely on the so-called Ghronique de Normandie^ an anony- 
mous production, not of the eleventh, but of the fourteenth 
century ! " Si fist faire une tour moult forte audessus du 
chastel d'Arques," runs the passage, which is quoted by Mr. 

1 Compare the " castrum in cacumine ipsius montis condidit " at Arques 
with the " castellum novum super flumen Tyne condidit " at Newcastle. 


Clark (i. 194), from Deville (pp. 311, 312), who, however, 
apologized for appealing to that authority. This " Chronique " 
is admitted to have been based on the poetical histories of Wace 
and Benoit de St. More, themselves written several generations 
later than the alleged erection of this keep. Of the former, 
Mr. Freeman holds that, except where repeating contemporary 
authorities, "his statements need to be very carefully weighed*' 
(iV. C, ii. 162) ; and of the latter, that he is " of much smaller 
historical authority" (ibid.). To this I may add that, in my 
opinion, Wace, writing as he did in the reign of Henry II., at 
the close of the great tower-building epoch, spoke loosely 
of towers, when mentioning castles, as if they had been equally 
common in the reign of the Conqueror. A careful inspection 
of his poem will be found to verify this statement. " La tur 
d'Arques " was standing when he wrote : consequently he 
talks of " La tur d'Arques " when describing the Conqueror's 
blockade of the castle in 1053. There is no contemporary 
authority for its existence at that date.^ 

And now let us pass from documentary evidence to that of 
the structure itself. We may call Mr. Clark himself to witness 
that the presumption is against so early a date as 1039-1043. 
He tells us, of the rectangular keep in general, that — 

" not above half a dozen examples can be shown with certainty to have been 
constructed iu Normandy before the latter part of the eleventh century, and 
but very few, if any, before the English conquest" (i. 35). 

Therefore, on Mr. Clark's own showing, we ought to ask for 
conclusive evidence before admitting that any rectangular keep 
is as old as 1039-1043. But what was the impression produced 
on him by an inspection of the structure itself ? This is a most 
significant fact. While rejecting, apparently on what he be- 

^ CJompare, on this point, the acute criticism of Dr. Bruce (repeated by 
Mr. Freeman) that "Wace (v. 12,628) speaks of the horse of "William Fitz 
Osbern [in 1066] as ' all covered with iron,' whereas in the [Bayeux] Tapestry 
'not a single horse is equipped in steel armour; and if we refer to the 
authors who lived at that period, we shall find that not one of them mentions 
any defensive covering for the horse.' " Compare also the expression of 
William of Malmesbury, who lived and wrote under the tower-building king, 
that the Norman barons took advantage of the Conqueror's minority " turres 
agere," these being the structures with the building of which the writer was 
most familiar. 


lieved to be documentary evidence, the theory that the keep 
(turris) was the work of Henry I., he confessed that the features 
of the building " no doubt favour this view " (i. 194, ut supra). 
But leaving, for the present, Mr. Clark's views, to which 
I shall return below, I take my stand without hesitation on 
certain features in this keep. It is not needful to visit Arques 
— T have myself never done so — to appreciate their true signi- 
ficance and their bearing on the question of the date. The first 
of these is the forebuiiding. Mr. Clark tells us that Arques 
possesses " the usual square appendage or forebuiiding common 
in these keeps " (M. M. A., i. 198). But this unscientific treat- 
ment of the forebuiiding, ignoring so completely its origin and 
development, cannot too strongly be resisted. Restricting 
ourselves to the case before us, we at once observe the pecu- 
liarity of an external staircase, not only leading up to a fore- 
building, through which the keep is entered, but actually 
carried, through a massive buttress, round an angle of the keep.^ 
Rochester being believed to be the work of Gundulf, in the days 
when M. Deville wrote, it was natural that he should have 
supposed " cette savante combinaison " to have been familiar 
to Gundulf (p. 299). But now that, on these points, we are 
better informed, let us ask where can Mr. Clark produce an 
instance of this elaborate and striking device as old even as the 
days of Gundulf, to say nothing of those of Count William 
(1039-1043) ? Where we do find it is in such keeps as Dover, 
the work of Henry 11., or Rochester, where the resemblaijce is 
even more remarkable. Now, Rochester, as we know, was 
actually built within a few years of the date given by Robert 
du Mont, and upheld by me, as that of the construction of 
Arques. Oddly enough, it is Mr. Clark himself who thus points 
out another resemblance : — 

" In the basement of the forebuiiding . . . was a vaulted chamber, open- 
ing into the basement of the keep, as at Rochester ^ either a store or prison " 
(M. M. A., p. 188). 

Lastly, both at Arques and at Rochester, we find on the first 

^ " A flight of steps, beginning upon the north face, passing by a doorway 
through its most westerly buttress, and which then, turning, is continued 
along the west face " {M. M. A., i. 188). Cf. Deville (p. 298), and the plan 
of 1708 {ibid., PI. XII.). 


floor, near the entrance, the very peculiar feature of a smallei- 
doorway communicating with the rampart of the curtain.^ This 
parallel, which is not alluded to by Mr. Clark, is the more 
remarkable, as such a device is foreign to the earlier rectangular 
keeps, and also implies that the keep must have been built 
certainly no earlier, and possibly later, than the curtain, which 
curtain, Mr. Clark, as we shall find, admits, cannot be so old as 
the days of Count William. 

No one, in short, unbiassed by supposed documentary 
evidence, could study this keep, with its " petites galeries avec 
d'autres petites chambres ou prisons pratiquees dans I'epaisseur 
des murs " ^ (as at Rochester), with the elaborate defences of 
its entrance, and with those other special features which made 
even Mr. Clark uneasy, without rejecting as incredible the 
accepted view that it was built by Count William of Arques 
(1039-1043). And this being so, there is, admittedly, no 
alternative left but to assign it to Henry I. (1123), the date 
specifically given by Robert du Mont himself. 

But, it may be urged, though there is nothing improbable 
in Mr. Freeman being wrong, is it conceivable that so unrivalled 
an expert as Mr. Clark himself can have mistaken a keep of 
1123 for one of 1039-1043, when we remember the wonderful 
development of these structures in the course of those eighty 
years? To this objection, I fear, there is a singularly complete 
answer in the case of Newcastle, where, as we have seen, he 
was led by the same misconception into no less amazing an 

In short, the view I have brought forward as to the separate 
existence of "tower" and "castle" may be said, from these 
examples, to revolutionize the study of Norman military 

1 M. M. A., i. 188, li. 432. 

2 Eeport of 1708 (Deville, p. 294). 

^ It is only right to mention that, according to the Academy, "Mr. Clark 
has long been recognized as the first living authority on the subject of 
castellated architecture ; " that, in the opinion of the Athenseum, all those 
" who in future touch the subject may safely rely on Mr. Clark ; " that his 
is "a masterly history of mediseval military architecture" {Saturday Beview); 
and that, according to Notes and Queries, " no other Englishman knows so 
much of our old military architecture as Mr. Clark." 

( 347 ) 



(See p. 151.) 

The new light whicli is thrown by the charters granted to 
Geoffrey upon a subject so interesting and so obscure as the 
government and status of London during the Norman period 
requires, for its full appreciation, detailed and separate treat- 
ment. But, before advancing my own conclusions, it is abso- 
lutely needful to dispose of that singular accretion of error which 
has grown, by gradual degrees, around the recorded facts. ^ 

The cardinal error has been the supposition that when the 
citizens of London, under Henry I., were given Middlesex adfir- 
mam, the " Middlesex " in question was only Middlesex exclusive 
of London. The actual words of the charter are these : — 

" Sciatis me concessisse civibus meis London [iarum], tenendum Middlesex 
ad firmam pro ccc libris ad compotum, ipsis et hseredibus suis de me et 
hseredibus meis ita quod ipsi cives ponent vicecomitem qualem voluerint de 
se ipsis ; et justitiarinm qualem voluerint de se ipsis, ad custodiendum 
placita coronse mese et eadem placitanda, et nullus alius erit justitiarius 
super ipsos homines London[iarum]." 

Now, it is absolutely certain that the shrievalty (vicecomitatus) 
and the ferm (firma) mentioned in this passage are the 
shrievalty and the ferm not of Middlesex apart from London, 
nor of London apart from Middlesex, but of "London and 
Middlesex." For there is never, from the first, but one ferm. 

^ On the somewhat thorny question of the right extension of " Lond' " 
(Londow/a or Londont«) I would explain at the outset that both forms, the 
singular and the plural, are found, so that either extension is legitimate. 
I have seen no reason to change my belief (as set forth in the Athenaeum, 
1887) that " Londonia " is the Latinization of the Euglish " Londone," and 
" Londonia? " of the Norman " Londres." 


It is here called the ferm of " Middlesex ; " in the almost con- 
temporary Pipe-Roll (31 Hen. T.) it is called the ferm of 
" London " (there being no ferm of Middlesex mentioned) ; and 
Geoffrey's charters clinch the matter. For while Stephen 
grants him " the shrievalties of London and Middlesex," ^ the 
Empress, in her turn, grants him " the shrievalty of London and 
Middlesex."^ Further, the Pipe-Rolls of Henry 11. describe this 
same firma both as the ferm of " London," and as that of " Lon- 
don and Middlesex ; " while in the Roll of 8 Ric. I. we find the 
phrase, " de veteri firma Comitaf Lond' et Middelsexa." Lastly, 
the charter of Henry IIL grants to the citizens of London — 

" Vicecomitatum Londoniae et de Middelsexia, cum omnibus rebus et 
consuetudinibus quae pertinent ad predictum Vicecomitatum, infra civitatem 
et extra per terras et aquas ; . • . Reddendo inde annuatim . . . trescentas 
librae sterlingorum blancorum.' 

And so, to this day, the shrievalty is that of " London and 
Middlesex." ' 

The royal writs and charters bear the same witness. When 
they are directed to the local authorities, it is to those of 
"London and Middlesex," or of "London," or of "Middlesex." 
The three are, for all purposes, used as equivalent terms. 
There was never, as I have said, but one ferm, and never but 
one shrievalty.^ 

* " Vicecomitdtus de Londonia et de Middelsexa . . , pro ccc libris." 

* "Vicecomitatum Lundoniae et Middelsex pro ccc libris." 
' Madox's Firma Burgi, p. 242, note. 

* These words were written before the late changes. 

* A remarkable illustration of this loose usage is afforded by the case of 
the archdeaconry. Take the styles of Ralph " de Diceto." Dr. Stubbs writes 
of bis archdeaconry : " That it was the archdeaconry of Middlesex is cer- 
tain ... it is beyond doubt, and wherever Ralph is called Archdeacon of 
London, it is only loosely in reference to the fact that he was one of the four 
archdeacons of the diocese " (Radulfi de Diceto Opera., I. xxxv., xxxvi.). But, 
as to this explanation, the writer adduces no evidence in support of this 
view, that all "four archdeacons" might be described, loosely, as "of 
London." Indeed, he admits, further on (p. xl., note\ " that the title of 
Essex or Colchester is generally given to the holders of these two arch- 
deaconries, 80 that really the only two between which confusion was likely 
to arise were London and Middlesex." Now, in a very formal document, 
quoted by Dr. Stubbs himself (p. 1., note\ Ralph is emphatically styled 
"Archdeacon of London." It is clear, therefore, that, in the case of this 
archdeaconry, that style was fully recognized, and the explanation of this is 


Now, this completely disposes of the view that the " Middle- 
sex" of Henry I.'s charter was Middlesex apart from London. 
This prevalent but erroneous assumption has proved the cause 
of much confusion and misunderstanding of the facts of the 
case. It has nowhere, perhaps, been assigned such prominence 
as in that account of London by Mr. Loftie which may derive 
authority in the eyes of some from the editorial imprimatur 
of Mr. Freeman.^ We there read as follows : — 

" It may be as well, before we proceed, to remember one thing. That 
London is not in Middlesex, that it never was in Middlesex, ... is a fact 
of which we have to be constantly reminded " (p. 125). 

From this interpretation of the " Middlesex " of the charter, 
it, of course, followed that the writer took the firma of £300 
to be paid in respect of Middlesex exclusive of London.^ We 
need not wonder, therefore, that to him the grant is difficult 
to understand. Here are his comments on its terms : — 

"If we could estimate the reasons which led to this grant with any 
degree of certainty, we should understand better what the citizens expected 
to gain by it besides rights of jurisdiction. . . . The meaning and nature of 
the grant are subjects of which we should like to know more. But here we 
can obtain little help from books . . . and we may inquire in vain for a 
definition of the position aud duties of the sheriff who acts for the citizens 
in their subject county. . . . There must have been advantages to accrue 
from the payment by London of £300 a year, a sum which, small as it seems 
to us, was a heavy tax in those days. We may be sure the willing citizens 
expected to obtain correspondingly valuable liberties" (pp. 121-123). 

Then follow various conjectures, all of them necessarily wide 
of the mark. And as with the ferm, so with the sheriff. 
Mr. Loftie, taking the sheriff {vicecomes) in question to be a 
sheriff of Middlesex exclusive of London (which he hence 
terms a "subject county"), is of necessity baffled by the charter. 
For by it the citizens are empowered to appoint (a) a " vice- 
to be found, I would suggest, in the use, exemplified in the text ut supra, 
of " London " and " Middlesex " as convertible terms. 

* Mr. Freeman himself makes the same mistake, and insists on regarding 
Middlesex as a subject district round the City. 

2 Even Dr. Sharpe, the learned editor of the valuable Calendar of 
Hustings Wills, is similarly puzzled by a grant of twenty-five marks out of 
the king's ferm " de civitate London," to be paid annually by the sheriffs 
of Loudon and Middlesex (i. 610), because he imagines that the ^rma was 
paid in respect of the sheriffwick of Middlesex alone. 


comes," (b) a " jnstitiarius." As the " vicecomes," according 
to his view, had nothing to do with the City itself, Mr. Loftie 
has to account for " the omission of any reference to the port- 
reeve in the charter," his assumption being that the City itself 
was at this time governed by a portreeve. Though his views 
are obscurely expressed, his solutions of the problem are as 
follows. In his larger work he dismisses the supposition that 
the " justitiarius " of the charter was the " chief magistrate " 
of the City, i.e. the portreeve, because the citizens must have 
been "already" entitled to elect that officer. Yet in his later 
work, with equal conBdence, he tells us that by " justitiarius " 
the portreeve is "evidently intended." The fact is that he is 
really opposing two different suppositions ; the one that Henry 
granted by his charter the right to elect a portreeve, the other 
that he did not grant it, but retained the appointment in his 
hands. Mr. Loftie first denies the former, and then, in his 
later work, asserts the former to deny the latter. But really 
his lano-uagre is so confused that it is doubtful whether he 
realized himself the contradictory drift of his two arguments, 
both based on the same assumption, which " it is manifestly 
absurd," we learn, to dispute.^ And the strange part of the 

^ " It has been supposed that the " The next substantial benefit they 

justiciar here mentioned means a derived from the charter was the 
mayor or chief magistrate, and that leave to elect their own justiciar, 
the grant includes that of the election They may place whom they will to 
of the supreme executive officer of the hold pleas of the Crown. The port- 
City. It may be so, but all proba- reeve is here evidently intended, for 
bility is against this view. For by it is manifestly absurd to suppose, as 
this time the citizens already appear some have done, that Henry allowed 
to have selected their own portreeve, the citizens to elect a reeve for 
by whatever name he was called ; Middlesex, if they could not elect 
and it is absurd to suppose that tlie one for themselves; and if proof were 
king gave them power to appoint a wanting, we have it in the refer- 
sheriff of Middlesex, if they were not ences to the trials before the port- 
already allowed to appoint their own. reeve which are found in very early 
The omission of any reference to documents. In one of these, which 
the portreeve in the charter cannot, cannot be dated later than 1115, 
in fact, be otherwise accounted for " Gilbert Proudfoot, or Prutfot, de- 
(^History of London, i. 90). scribed as vicecomes, is mentioned 

as having some time before given 
judgment against the dean and 
chapter as to a piece of land on the 
present site of the Bank of England " 
{London, p. 29). 


business is this, What is the "proof" that Mr. Loftie offers 
for the later of his two hypotheses ? If the " trial " to 
which he refers had ever taken place at all, and, still more, 
if it had taken place before 1115, the fact would have an 
important bearing. But, in the first place, he has wrongly 
assigned to the record too early a date, and, in the second, 
it represents Gilbert Prutfot, not as a judge, but as a culprit. 
The expression used is, " Terra quam Gillebertus Prutfot nobis 
disfortiat."^ Now " defortiare " (or " disfortiare ") is rendered 
by Dr. Stubbs, in his Select Charters (p. 518), "to deforce, to 
dispossess by violence." We have here, therefore, an interest- 
ing, because early, example of the legal offence of " deforce- 
ment," defined by Johnson as " a withholding of lands and 
tenements by force from the right owner." But the point to 
which I would call attention is that, even if this writer were 
correct in his facts (which he is not), his "proof" that (a 
vicecomes and a justitiarius being mentioned in the charter) the 
justitiarius was "evidently" the portreeve consists in the fact 
that a vicecomes had " given judgment " in a trial, and being 
styled vicecomes, was the portreeve ! That is to say, the justi- 
tiarius must have been the portreeve because the portreeve 
was styled (not "justitiarius," but, on the contrary,) vicecomes. 
Such is actually his argument.^ 

I have dwelt thus fully on these observations, because they 
illustrate the hopeless wandering which is the inevitable result 
of the adoption of the above fundamental error. 

We have a curiously close parallel to this use of "London 
and Middlesex" in the expression " turris et castellum," on 
which I have elsewhere dwelt.^ Just as the relative importance 
of the "Tower" of London to the encircling "castle" at its 
feet led to the term "turris " alone being used to describe the 
two, — while, conversely, in the provinces, " castellum " was the 
term adopted, — so did the relative greatness of London to 
the county that lay around its walls lead to the occasional use 
of " London " as a term descriptive of both together, a usage 

1 Ninth Report Hist. MS8. , i. 66 h. 

* Reference to p. 110, supra, will show at once how vain is the eflfort to 
wrench "justitiarius " from its natural and well-known meaning. 
3 See Appendix O. 


impossible in the provinces. Whether a " tun-is et castellum" 
were destined to become known as a " turris " or a "castel- 
lum," whether " Londonia et ]!^Iiddelsex " were described as 
" Londonia" merely, or as "Middlesex," in each case the entity 
is the same. For fiscal, and therefore for our purposes, "Lon- 
don and Middlesex," under whatever name, remain one and 

The special value of the charters granted to Geoffrey de 
Mandeville lies not so much in their complete confirmation of 
the view that the firma of " Middlesex " was that of " London 
and Middlesex " (for that would be evident without them), as in 
their proof of the fact, so strangely overlooked, that this con- 
nection was at least as old as the days of William the Conqueror, 
and in their treatment of Middlesex (including London) as an 
ordinary county like Essex or Herts, " farmed " in precisely 
the same way. The ^rma of Herts was £60, of Essex £300, 
and of Middlesex (because containing London) £300 also. 

But now let us leave our record evidence and turn to 
geography and to common sense. What must have always 
been the salient feature which distinguished Middlesex inter- 
nally from every other county? Obviously, that the shire was 
abnormally small, and its chief town abnormally large. Nor 
was it a mere matter of size, but, still more, of comparative 
wealth. This is illustrated by the taxation recorded in the 
Pipe-Roll of 1130. Unlike the firma, the taxes were raised, 
as elsewhere, from the town and the shire respectively, the 
town contributing an auxilium, and the shire, without the 
walls, a Danegeld. We thus learn that London paid a sum 
about half as large again as that raised from the rest of the 
shire.-^ The normal relation of the " shire " to the " port " was 
accordingly here reversed, and so would be also, in conse- 
quence, that of the shire-reeve to the portreeve. Where, as 
usual, the " port " formed but a small item in the corpus 
comitatus, it was possible to sever it from the rest of the 
county, to place it extra firmam, and to give it a reeve who 
should stand towards it in the same relation as the shire- 
reeve to the shire, and would therefore be termed the " port- 

^ Here and elsewhere I use " shire *' on the strength of Middlesex having 
a "sheriff" i^i.e. a shire-reeve). 


reeve." But to have done this in the case of Middlesex would 
have been to reverse the nature of things, to place a mere 
"portreeve" in a position greater than that of the "shire- 
reeve " himself. This is why that change which, in the pro- 
vinces, was the aim of every rising town, never took place in 
the case of London, though the greatest town of all. I say that 
it " never took place," for, as we have seen, the city of London 
was never severed from the rest of the shire. As far back as 
we can trace them, they are found one and indivisible. 

What, then, was the alternative ? Simply this. The 
" reeve," who, in the case of a normal county, took his title 
from the "shire" and not from the "port," took it, in the 
abnormal case of Middlesex, from the " port " and not from the 
" shire." In each case both " port " and " shire " were alike 
within his jurisdiction ; in each case he took his style from 
the most important part of that jurisdiction. Such is the 
original solution I offer for this most interesting problem, and 
I claim that its acceptance will explain everything, will har- 
monize with all existing data, and will dispose of difficulties 
which, hitherto, it has been impossible to surmount. 

My contention is, briefly, that the N'orman vicecomes of 
" London," or " Middlesex," or " London and Middlesex " 
was simply the successor, in that office, of the Anglo-Saxon 
" portreeve." With the sphere of the vicecomes I have already 
dealt, and though we are not in a position similarly to prove 
the sphere of the Anglo-Saxon "portreeve," I might appeal 
to the belief of Mr. Loftie himself that " Ulf the Sheriff of 
Middlesex is identical with Ulf the Portreeve of London " ^ 
(though he adds, contrary to my contention, that " as yet their 
official connection was only that of neighbourhood "),^ and 
that Ansgar, though one of the "portreeves" (p. 24), "was 
Sheriff of Middlesex for a time there can be no doubt " 
(p. 127).^ But I would rather appeal to the vital fact that 
the shire-reeve and the portreeve are, so far I know, never 
mentioned together, and that writs are directed to a port- 

* London, p. 126, 

" This springs, of course, from what I have termed " the fundamental 

^ See p. 37, ante, and Norm. Cong., iii. (1869) 424, 544, 729. 

2 A 


reeve or to a shire-reeve/ but never to both. Specially 
would I insist upon the indisputable circumstance that such 
writs as were addressed to the "portreeve " by the Anglo-Saxon 
kings, were addressed to the vicecomes by the Norman, and 
that the turning-point is seen under the Conqueror himself, 
whose Anglo-Saxon charter is addressed to the "bisceop " and 
the "portirefan,"and whose Latin writs are, similarly, addressed 
to the episcopus and the vicecomes. More convincing evidence 
it would not be easy to find. 

The acceptance of this view will at once dispose of the 
alleged " disappearance of the portreeve," with the difficulties 
it has always presented, and the conjectures to which it has 
given rise.^ The style of the " portreeve " indeed disappears, 
but his office does not. In the person of the Norman vicecomes, 
it preserves an unbroken existence. Geoffrey de Mandeville 
steps, as sheriff, into the shoes of Ansgar the portreeve.^ 

The problem as to what became of the portreeve, a problem 
which has exercised so many minds, sprang from the delusion 
that in the Norman period the City must have had a portreeve 
for governor independent of the Sheriff of Middlesex. I term 
this an undoubted " delusion," because I have already made it 
clear that the City was part of the sheriff's jurisdiction and con- 
tributed its share to his firma. There was, therefore, no room 
for an independent portreeve ; nor indeed does a "portreeve" 
of London, I believe, ever occur after the Conqueror's charter. 

But we must here glance at the contrary view set forth by 
Mr. Loftie : — 

" The succession of portreeves is uninterrupted. We have the names of 
some of them in the records of the Exchequer. Occasionally two or three, 

^ I would suggest that, as in the case of Ulf, the Reeve of "London 
and Middlesex" might be addressed as portreeve in writs affecting the City 
and as shire-reeve in those more p irticularly affecting the rest of Middlesex. 

* Dr. Stubbs, in a footnote, hazards " the conjecture " that " the dis- 
appearance of the portreeve" may be connected with "a civic revolution, 
the history of which is now lost, but which might account for the earnest 
support given by the citizens to Stephen," etc. In another place (Select 
Charters^ p. 300) he writes : " How long the Poi treeve of London continued 
to exist is not known ; perhaps until lie was merged in the mayor." I have 
already dealt with Mr. Loftls'g explanation of "the omission of any reference 
to the portreeve in the charter. 

• See p. 37, ante, and Addenda. 


once as many as five, came to answer for the City and pay the £300 which 
was the farm of Middlesex. In 1129, a few years only after the retirement of 
Orgar and his companions, we read of ' qnatuor vicecomites ' as attending for 
London. The following year we hear of a single ' camerarius.' The ' Hugh 
Buche ' of Stowe may be identified with the Hugo de Bock of the St. Paul's 
documents, and his ' Richard de Par ' with Richard the younger, the chamber- 
lain. ' Par ' is probably a misreading for Parvus contracted. In the reign 
of Stephen two members of the Buckerel family hold oflQce, and we have 
Fulcred and Robert, who were related to each other. Another early portreeve 
was Wluardus, who attends at the Exchequer in 1138, and who continued to 
be an alderman thirty years later" (^Historic Towns: London, p. 34). 

Where are " the records of the Exchequer " from which 
we learn all this? The only Pipe- Roll of the period is that 
of 1130, in which "the farm of Middlesex" is not £300, 
but a much larger sum, a fact which, as we shall find, has a 
most important bearing. The "quatuor vicecomites" appear 
" as attending," not in 1129, but in 1130. The " camerarius " 
does not (and could not) appear " in the following year," 
but, on the contrary, belonged to a preceding one ("Willel- 
mus qui fuit camerarius de veterihus debitis ") ; nor does 
he account for the firma. The firma was always accounted 
for by " vicecomites," and not (as implied on p. 108) by a 
chamberlain, or by a " prefect." The " Hugh Buche " is given 
in Mr. Lof tie's former work (p. 98) as " Hugh de Buch." He 
is meant (as even Foss perceived) for the well-known Hugh de 
Bocland (the minister of Henry I.), who cannot be shown to 
have been a " portreeve." No " Hugo de Bock " occurs in the 
St. Paul's documents, which only mention " Hugo de Boche- 
landa" and "Hugo de Bock[elanda]," the latter imperfec- 
tion being the source of the error. " Richard, the younger, 
chamberlain " only occurs in these documents a century later 
(1204-1215), and " the younger," I presume, there translates 
" juvenis," and not " parvus." It is, moreover, quite certain 
that Stowe's " de Par" was not "a misreading for 'parvus' 
contracted," but for " delpare," as may easily be ascertained. 
No member of the Bucherel family occurs in these documents 
as holding office " in the reign of Stephen," though some do in 
the next century. Fulcred was not a " portreeve," but a 
" chamberlain ; " and Robert, Fulcred's brother, was neither 
one nor the other. But what are we to say to " Wluardus " 
the portreeve, "who attends at the Exchequer in 1138"? 


Where are the "records of the Exchequer for 1138"? Thej 
are known to Mr. Loftie alone. ^ Moreover, his identification, 
here, of the vicecomes with the portreeve is in direct antagonism 
to the principle laid down jnst before (p. 29), that, on the 
contrary, it was the justitiarius who should "evidently" be 
identified with the portreeve (see p. 350, supra). 

Perhaps the assumption of a portreeve's existence springs 
from forgetfulness or misapprehension of the condition of 
London at the time. Its corporate unity, we must always 
remember, had not yet been developed. As Dr. Stubbs so truly 
observes, London was only 

*' a bundle of communities, townships, parishes, and lordships, of which each 
has its own constitution." * 

I cannot indeed agree with him in his view that the result 
of the charter of Henry I. was to replace this older system by 
anew "shire organization."^ For my contention is that onr 
great historian not only misdates the charter in question, but 
also misunderstands it (though not so seriously as others), and 
that it made no difference in the " organization " at all. But 
I w^onld cordially endorse these his words : — 

" No new incorporation is bestowed : the churches, the barons, the citizens 
retain their ancient customs; the churches their sokens, the barons their 
manors, the citizens their township organization, and possibly their guilds. 
The municipal unity which they possess is of the same sort as that of tho 
county and hundred." * 

And he further observes that the City "clearly was organized 
under a sheriff like any other shire." Thus the local govern- 
ment of the day was to be found in the petty courts of these 
various "communities," and not in any central corporation. 
The only centralizing element was the sheriff, and his office was 
not so much to "govern," as to satisfy the financial claims of 
the Crown in ferm, taxes, and profits of jurisdiction. There was, 

* See Athenaeum, February 5, ^87, p. 191 ; also my papers on "The First 
Mayor of London" in Academy, Jsovember 12, 1887, and Antiquary, March, 

' Const. Hist., i. 404. 

' " The . . . shire organization which seems to have displaced early in 
the century " [i.e. by Henry's charter] " the complicated system of guild and 
franchise " (ibid., i. 630). 

* Ibid., i. 405. 


of course, the general "folkmote " over whicli, with the bishop, 
he would preside, but the true corporate organisms were those 
of the several communities. The sheriff and the folkmote 
could no more mould these self-governing bodies into one 
coherent whole, than they could, or did, accomplish this in the 
case of an ordinary shire. Here we have a somewhat curious 
parallel between such a polity as is here described and that of 
the present metropolis outside the City. There, too, we have the 
local communities, with their quasi-independent vestries, etc., 
and the Metropolitan Board of Works is a substitute for their 
"folkmote" or " shiremote." ^ But, to revert to the days of 
Henry I., the Anglo-Saxon system of government, its strength 
varying in intension conversely with its sphere in extension, 
possessed the toughest vitality in its lowest and simplest forms. 
Thus the original territorial system might never have led to a 
corporate unity. But what the sheriff and the folkmote could 
not accomplish, the mayor and the communa could and did. The 
territorial arrangement was overthrown by the rising power of 
commerce. To quote once more from Dr. Stubbs's work : 

*' Tlie establishment of the corporate character of the City under a mayor 
marks the victory of the communal principle over the more ancient shire 
organization. ... It also marks the triumph of the mercantile over the 
aristocratic element." ^ 

At the risk of being tedious I would now repeat the view 
I have advanced on the shrievalty, because the point is of such 
paramount importance that it cannot be expressed too clearly. 
The great illustrative value of Geoffrey's charters is this. They 
prove, in the first place, that Middlesex (inclusive of London) 
was treated financially on the same footing as Essex or Herts 
or any other shire; and in the second they give us that all- 
important information, the amount of the firma for each of 
these counties at the close of the eleventh century. All we 
have to do in the case of Middlesex is to keep steadily in view 
its firma of £300. Sometimes described as the firma of 
"London," sometimes "of Middlesex," and sometimes "of 
London and Middlesex," its identity never changes ; it is always, 
and beyond the shadow of question, the firma of Middlesex 

^ This was written before the days of the London County Council. 
2 Ibid., i. 630. 


inclasive of London. The history of this ancient payment 
reveals a persistent endeavour of the Crown to increase its 
amount, an endeavour which was eventually foiled. Under the 
first Geoffrey de Mandeville (William I. and William II.), it 
was £300. Nearly doubled by Henry I., it ^vas yet reduced to 
£300 by his charter to the citizens of London. In the succeed- 
ing reign, the second Geoffrey eventually secured it from both 
claimants at the same low figure (£300). Under Henry II., as 
the Pipe-Rolls show, it was again raised as under Henry I. 
John, we shall find, reduced it again to the original £300, and 
the reduction was confirmed by his successor on his assuming 
the reins of power. For we find a charter of Henry III. 
conceding to the citizens of London (February II, 1227) — 

" Vicecomitatum Londonise et de Middlesexia cum omnibus rebus at con- 
suetudiaibus quae pertinent ad prsedictum Vicecomitatum, infra Civitatem et 
extra per terras et aquas ; Habendum et tenendum eis et heredibus suis de 
nobis et heredibus nostris; Reddendo inde annuatim nobis et heredibus 
nostris treseentas libras sterlingorum blancorum . . . Hanc vero concessionem 
et confirmationem fecimus Civibus Londoniae propter emendationem ejus- 
dem Civitatis, et quia antiquitus consuevit esse adfirmam pro trecentis libris.*' 

The adhesion of the City to Simon de Montfort resulted in the 
forfeiture of its rights, and when, in 1270, the citizens were 
restored to favour, on payment of heavy sums to the king and 
to his son, they received permission " to have two sheriffs of 
their own who should hold the shrievalty of the City and 
Middlesex as they used to have." But the firma was raised 
from £300 to £400 a year.^ Finally, on the accession of 

^ Liber de Antiguis Legibus, p. 124 : " Circa idem tempus, scilicet Pente- 
costen [1270], ad instantiam domini Edwardi concessit DominusRex civibus 
ad habendum de se ipsis duos Yicecomites, qui tenerent Vicecomitatum Civi- 
tatis et Midelsexias ad firmam sicut ante solebant : Ita, tamen, cum tem- 
poribus transactis solvissent inde tantummodo per annum ccc Hbras sterUn- 
gorum blancorum, quod de cetero solvent annuatim cccc libras sterlingorum 
computatorum. . . . Et tunc tradite sunt civibus omnes antique carte eorum 
de libertatibus suis que fuerunt in manu Domini Regis, et concessum est eis 
per Dominum Regem et per Dominum Edwardum ut eis plenarie utantur, 
excepto quod pro firma Civitatis et Comitatus solvent per annum cccc libras, 
sicut praescriptum est. 

" Tunc temporis dederunt Cives Domino Regi centum marcas sterlin- 
gorum. . . . Dederunt etiam Domino Edwardo V^. marcas ad expensas suas 
in itiiiere versus Terram Sanctam." This passage is quoted in full because, 
important though the transaction is, not a trace of it is to be found in The 


Edward III. (March 9, 132f), the firma was reduced to the 
original sum of £300 a year, at which figure, Mr. Loftie says, 
" it has remained ever since." ^ 

This one firma^ of which the history has here been traced, 
represents one corpus comitatus, namely, Middlesex inclusive of 
London.^ From this conclusion there is no escape. 

Hence the firmarii of this corpus comitatus were from the 
first ijhe firmarii (that is, the sheriffs) of Middlesex inclusive of 
London, This, similarly, is beyond dispnte. As with the 
firma so with the sheriffs. Whether described as "of London," 
or "of Middlesex," or "of London and Middlesex," they are, 
from the first, the sheriffs of Middlesex inclusive of London. 

This conclusion throws a new light on the charter by which 
Henry I. granted to the citizens of London Middlesex (i.e. 
Middlesex inclusive of London) at farm. Broadly speaking, 
the transaction in question may be regarded in this aspect. 
Instead of leasing the corpus comitatus to any one individual 
for a year, or for a term of years, the king leased it to the 
citizens as a body, leased it, moreover, in perpetuity, and at the 
low original firma of £300 a year. The change effected was 
simply that which was involved in placing the citizens, as a 
body, in the shoes of the Sheriff " of London and Middlesex."^ 

The only distinction between this lease and one to a private 
individual lies in the corporate character of the lessee, and in 
the consequent provision for the election of a representative of 
that corporate body : " Ita quod ipsi cives ponent vicecomites 
qualem voluerint de seipsis." 

It would seem that under the regime adopted by Henry I., 

Historical Charters and Constitutional Documents of the City of London 
(1884), the latest work on the subject. So, in 128'1, when Edward I., who 
had " taken into his hands " the town of Nottingham for some years, restored 
the burgesses their liberties, it was at the price of their ^rma being raised 
from £52 to £60 a year. 

1 History of London, ii. 208, 209. 

2 A curious illustration of the fact that this firma arose out of the city 
and county alike is aflfbrded by Henry III.'s charter (1253) : *' quod vii libre 
sterlingorum per annum allocarentur Vicecomitibus in firma eorum pro liber- 
tate ecclesise sancti Pauli." 

^ This is illustrated by the subsequent prohibition of the sheriffs tliem- 
selves underletting the county at " farm " {Liber Custumarumy p. 91 ; Liber 
Albus, p. 46). 


the financial exactions of which a glimpse is afforded us in the 
solitary Pipe-Roll of his reign, included the leasing of the 
counties, etc. {i.e. of the financial rights of the Crown in them), 
at the highest rate possible. This was effected either by adding 
to the annaal firma, a sum " de cremento," or by exacting from 
the firmarius, over and above his firma, a payment " de ger- 
aoma " for his lease. Where the lease was offered for open 
competition it would be worth the while of the would-be 
firmarius to offer a large payment " de gersoma " for his lease, 
if the firma was a low one. But if the ^rma was a high one, 
he would not offer much for his bargain. In the case of 
Oxfordshire we find the sheriff paying no less than four hundred 
marks " de gersoma, pro comitatu habendo." ^ But in Berkshire 
the payment " de gersoma " would seem to have been con- 
siderably less.^ Sometimes the county (or group of counties) 
was leased for a specified term of years. Thus " Maenfininus " 
had taken a lease of Bucks, and Beds, for four years,^ for which, 
seemingly, he paid but a trifling sum " de gersoma," while 
William de Eynsford (^inesford) paid a hundred marks for 
a five years' lease of Essex and Herts.* Now, the fact that 
William de Eynsford was not an Essex but a Kentish land- 
owner obviously suggests that in taking this lease he was 
actuated by speculative motives. It is, indeed, an admitted 
fact that the Norman gentry, in their greed for gain, were by 
no means above indulging in speculations of the kind. But 
when we make the interesting discovery that William de Eyns- 
ford, in this same reign, had acted as Sheriff of London,^ may 
we not infer that, there also, he had indulged in a similar 
speculation ? That the shrievalty of London (i.e. London 
and Middlesex) was purchased by payments " de gersoma" is 
a matter, itself, not of inference, but of fact. Fulcred fitz 
Walter is debited in the Pipe-Bolls with a sum of " cxx marcas 
argenti de Gersoma pro Vicecomitatu Londonias." ^ 

The firmarius who had succeeded in obtaining a lease would 

^ Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I., p. 2. » Ibid., p. 122. ' Ibid., p. 100. 

* Ibid., p. 52. 

* "William de Einesford. vicecomes de Londonia," heada the list of 
witnesses to a London agreement assigned to 1114-1130 (Ramsey Cartulary, 
i. 139). 

« Rot. Pip., 31 Hen. I., p. 144. 


have to recoup himself, of course, from his receipts the amount 
of the actual " firma " plus his payment " de gersoma," before 
he could derive for himself any profit whatever from the trans- 
action. This implied that he had closely to shear the flock 
committed to his charge. If he was a mere speculator, uncon- 
nected with his sphere of operations, he would have no scruple 
in doing this, and would resort to every means of extortion. 
What those means were it is now difficult to tell, for, obscure 
as the financial system of the Norman period may be, it is clear 
that just as the rotulus exactorius recorded the amounts to which 
the king was entitled from the firmarii of the various counties, 
so these fir viarii, in their turn, were entitled to sums of osten- 
sibly fixed amount from the various constituents of their 
counties' "corpora." Domesday, however, while recording 
these sums, shows us, in many remarkable cases, a larger " red- 
ditus " being paid than that which was strictly due. The fact 
is that we are, and must be, to a great extent, in the dark as 
to the fixity of these ostensibly stereotyped payments. That 
the remarkable rise in the annual ^rmas exacted from the towns 
which, Domesday shows us, had taken place since, and con- 
sequent on, the Conquest would seem to imply that these firmse, 
under the loose regime of the old system, had been allowed to 
remain so long unaltered that they had become antiquated and 
unduly low. In any case the Conqueror raised them sharply, 
probably according to his estimate of the financial capacity of 
the town. And this step would, of course, involve a rise in the 
total of the firma exacted from the corpus comitatus. The 
precedent which his father had thus set was probably followed 
by Henry I., who appears to have exacted, systematically, the 
uttermost farthing. It was probably, however, to the oppres- 
sive use of the " placita " included in the " firma comitatus " 
that the sheriffs mainly trusted to increase their receipts. 

But whatever may have been the means of extortion pos- 
sessed by the sheriffs in the towns within their rule,^ and exer- 
cised by them to recoup themselves for the increased demands 
of the Crown, we know that such means there must have been, 
or it would not have been worth the while of the towns to 

^ Probably the mysterious '* scotale " was among them (cf. Stubbs, Const. 
Hist, i. 628). 



offer considerable sums for the privilege of paying their firmse 
to the Crown directly, instead of through the sheriffs.^ 

I would now institute a comparison between the cases of 
Lincoln and of London. In both cases the city formed part of 
the corpus comitatus ; in both, therefore, its firma was included 
in the total ferm of the shire. Lincoln was at this time one of 
the largest and wealthiest towns in the country. Its citizens evi- 
dently had reason to complain of the exactions of the sheriff of 
the shire. London, we infer, was in the same plight. Both cities 
were, accordingly, anxious to exclude the financial intervention 
of the sheriff between themselves and the Crown. How was 
this end to be attained ? It was attained in two different ways 
varying with the circumstances of the two cases. London was 
considerably larger than Lincoln, and Middlesex infinitely 
smaller than Lincolnshire. Thus while the firma of Lincoln 
represented less than a fifth of the ferm of the shire,^ that of 
London would, of course, constitute the bulk of the ferm of 
Middlesex. Lincoln, therefore, would only seek to sever itself 
financially from the shire ; London, on the contrary, would 
endeavour to exclude, still more effectually, the sheriff', by 
itself boldly stepping into the sheriff's shoes. The action of 
the citizens of Lincoln is revealed to us by the Roll of 1130 : — 

"Burgenses Lincolie reddunt compotum de cc marcis argenti et iiij 
marcis aui-i ut teneaut ciuitatem de B.e^e in capite" (p. 114). 

The same Roll is witness to that of the citizens of London : — 

" Homines Londonie reddunt compotum de c marcis argenti ut habeant 
Yic[ecomitem ?] ad electionem suam " (p. 148). 

I contend that these two passages ought to be read together. 
Xo one appears to have observed the fact that the sequel to 
the above Lincoln entry is to be found in the Pipe-Roll of 1157 
(3 Hen. II.). We there find £140 deducted from the ferm of 
the shire in consideration of the severance of the city from the 
corpus comitatus Q''Yii in CivitateLincol[nie] CXL librae blancse"). 
But we further find the citizens of Lincoln, in accounting for 
their ^rma to the Crown direct, accounting not for £140, but for 

» Cf. Stubbs, Const. BisL, i. 410. 

' The ferm of Lincohishire in 1130 was rather over £750 (£40 " numero" 
plus £716 IGs. 3d. " blanch"). 


£180. It must, consequently, have been worth their while to 
ofiPer the Crown a sum equivalent to about a year's rental for 
the privilege of paying it £180 direct rather than £140 through 
the sheriff.^ Such figures are eloquent as to the extortions 
from which they had suffered. The citizens of London, as I 
have said, set to work a different way. They simply sought 
to lease the shrievalty of the shire themselves. I can, on 
careful consideration, offer no other suggestion than that the 
hundred marcs for which they account in the Roll of 1130, 
represent the payment by which they secured a lease of the 
shrievalty for the year 1129-1130, the shrievalty being held in 
that year by the " quatuor vicecomites " of the Roll. I gather 
from the Roll that Fulcred fitz Walter had been sheriff for 
1128-29, and his payment " de gersoma " is, I take it, repre- 
sented in the case of the following year (1129-30) by these hun- 
dred marks, the " quatuor vicecomites " themselves having paid 
nothing " de gersoma." On this view, the citizens must have 
leased the shrievalty themselves and then put in four of their 
fellows, as representing them, to hold it. But, obviously, such 
a post was not one to be coveted. To exact sufficient from 
their fellow-citizens wherewith to meet the claims of the Crown 
would be a task neither popular nor pleasant. Indeed, the 
fact of the citizens installing four "vicecomites" may imply 
that they could not find any one man who would consent to 
fill a post as thankless as that of the hapless decui'lo in the 
provinces of the Roman Empire, or of the chamberlain, in a 
later age, in the country towns of England. Hence it may be 
that we find it thus placed in commission. Hence, also, the 
eagerness of these vicecomites to be quit of office, as shown by 
their payment, for that privilege, of two marcs of gold apiece.^ 
It may, however, be frankly confessed that the nature of this 
payment is not so clear as could be wished. Judging from the 
very ancient practice with regard to municipal offices, one 

* We have a precisely similar illustration, ninety years later, in the ease 
of Carlisle. In 5 Hen, III. (1220-21) the citizens of Carlisle obtained per- 
mission to hold their city ad firmam for £60 a year payable to the Crown 
direct, in the place of £52 a year payable through the sheriff (" per vice- 
comitem") and his ferm of the shire (Ninth Report Hid. MSS., App. i. 
pp. 197, 202). 

' Rut. Pip., 31 Hen. L, p. 149. 


would have thought that such payments would probably have 
been made to their fellow-citizens who had thrust on them the 
office rather than to the Crown. Moreover, if their year of 
office was over, and the city's lease at an end, one would have 
thought they would be freed from office in the ordinary course 
of things. The only explanation, perhaps, that suggests itself 
is that they purchased from the Crown an exemption from 
serving again even though their fellow-citizens should again 
elect them to office.^ Bat I leave the point in doubt. 

The hypothesis, it will be seen, that I have here advanced 
is that the citizens leased the shrievalty (so far as we know, 
for the first time) for the year 1129-30. We have the names 
of those who held the shrievalty at various periods in the course 
of the reign, before this year, but there is no evidence that, 
throughout this period, it was ever leased to the citizens. The 
important question which now arises is this : How does this 
view^ affect the charter granted to the citizens by Henry I. ? 

We have first to consider the date to which the charter 
should be assigned. Mr. Loftie characteristically observes that 
Rymer, " from the names appended to it or some other evi- 
dence, dates it in 1101." ^ As a matter of fact, Rymer 
assigns no year to it; nor, indeed, did Rymer himself even 
include it in his work. In the modern enlarged edition of that 
work the charter is printed, but without a date, nor w^as it till 
1885 that in the Record Office Syllabus, begun by Sir T. D, 
Hardy, the date 1101 was assigned to it.^ That date is pos- 
sibly to be traced to Northouck's History of London (1773), in 
which the commencement of Henry's reign is suggested as a 
probable period (p. 27). This view is set forth also in a 
modern work upon the subject.^ It is not often that we meet 
with a charter so difficult to date. The formula of address, as 

^ Compare Henry III.'s charter to John Gifard of Chillington, conceding 
that during his lifetime he should not be made a sheriff, coroner, or any other 
bailiff against his -^'xW {Staffordshire Collections, v. [1] 158). 

2 History of London, ii. 88. Compare Mr. Loftie's London ("Historic 
Towns "), p. 28 : " The exact date of the charter is given by Rymer as 1101." 

' Vol. iii. p. 4. 

* The Churters of the City of London (1884), p. xiiii. : '■ To engage the 
citizens to support his Government he conferred upon them the advantageous 
privileges that are conferred in this charter." 


it. includes justices, points, according to my own theory, to a 
late period in the reign, as also does the differentiation between 
the justice and the sheriff. And the witnesses do the same. 
But there is, unfortunately, no witness of suflBcient prominence 
to enable us to fix the date with precision. All that we can say 
is that such a name as that of Hugh Bigod points to the period 
1123-1135, and that, of the nine witnesses named, seven or 
eight figure in the Pipe-Roll of 1130 (31 Hen. I.). This would 
suggest that these two documents must be of about the same date. 
Now, though we cannot trace the tenure of the shrievalty before 
Michaelmas, 1128, from the Roll, there is, as I have said, no 
sign that this charter had come into play. Nor is it easy to 
understand how or why it could be withdrawn within a very 
few years of its grant. In short, for this view there is not 
a scrap of evidence; against it, is all probability. If, on the 
contrary, we adopt the hypothesis which I am now going to 
advance, namely, that the charter was later than the Pipe-Roll, 
the difficulties all vanish. By this view, the lease for a year, 
to which the Pipe-Roll bears witness, would be succeeded by 
a permanent arrangement, that lease of the ferm in perpetuity, 
which we find recorded in the charter. 

It is, indeed, evident that the contrary view rests solely on 
the guess at " 1101," or on the assumption of Dr. Stubbs that 
the charter was earlier than the Pipe-Roll. Mr. Freeman and 
others have merely followed him. Dr. Stubbs writes thus : — 

" Between the date of Henry's charter and that of the great Pipe-Roll, 
some changes in the organization of the City must have taken place. In 1130 
there were four sheriffs or vicecomites, who jointly account for the ferm of 
London, instead of the one meationed in the charter ; and part of the account 
is rendered by a chamberlain of the City. The right to appoint the sheriffs 
has been somehow withdrawn, for the citizens pay a hundred marks of silver 
that they may have a sheriff of their own choice," etc., etc.^ 

But our great historian nowhere tells us what he considers 
" the date of Henry's charter " to have been. If that date was 
subsequent to the Pipe-Roll, the whole of his argument falls to 
the ground. 

The substitution of four sheriffs for one, to which Dr. Stubbs 
alludes, is a matter of slight consequence, for the number of 

» Comt. Hist., i. 406. 


the *' vicecomites " varies tlirongliont. As a matter of fact, 
the abbreviated forms leave ns, as in the Pipe-Roll of 1130, 
doubtful whether we ought to read " vicecomitem " or " vice- 
comites," and even if the former is the one intended, we know, 
both in this and other cases, that there was nothing unusual 
in putting the office in commission between two or more. As 
to the chamberlain, he does not figure in connection with the 
Jirma, with which alone we are here concerned. But, oddly 
enongh, Dr. Stubbs has overlooked the really important point, 
namely, that the firma is not £300, as fixed by the charter, bat 
over £500.^ This increases the discrepancy on which Dr. Stubbs 
lays stress. The most natural inference from this fact is that, 
as on several later occasions, the Crown had greatly raised the 
firma (which had been under the Conqueror £300), and that 
the citizens now, by a heavy payment, secured its reduction to 
the original figure. Thus, on my hypothesis that the charter 
was granted between 1130 and 1135, the Crown must have been 
tempted, by the offer of an enormous sum down, to grant 
(1) a lease in perpetuity, (2) a reduction of the fee-farm rent 
("fiiTna") to £300 a year. As the sum to which the firma 
had been raised by the king, together with the annual ger- 
soma, amounted to some £600 a year, such a reduction can only 
have been purchased by a large payment in ready money. 

It was, of course, by such means as these that Henry 
accumulated the vast " hoard " that the treasury held at his 
death. He may not improbably in collecting this wealth have 
kept in view what appears to have been the supreme aim of his 
closing years, namely, the securing of the succession to his 
heirs. This was to prove the means by which their claims 
should be supported. It would, perhaps, be refining too much 
to suo-o-est that he hoped by this charter to attach the citizens 
to the interests of his line, on whom alone it could be binding. 
In any case his efforts were notoriously vain, for London 
headed throughout the opposition to the claims of his heirs. 
I cannot but think that his financial system had much to do 
with this result, and that, as with the Hebrews at the death of 
Solomon, the citizens of London bethought them only of his 
"grievous service" and his "heavy yoke," as when they met 

1 £327 3«. lid. " blanch," plus £209 6s. 5|d. « numcro." 


the demand of his daughter for an enormous sum of money ^ 
by bluntly requesting a return to the system of Edward the 

In any case the concessions in Henry's charter were wholly 
ignored both by Stephen and by the Empress, when they granted 
in turn to the Earl of Essex the shrievalty of London and 
Middlesex (1141-42). 

A fresh and important point must, however, now be raised. 
What was the attitude of Henry IT. towards his grandfather's 
charter ? Of our two latest writers on the subject, Mr. Loftie 
tells us that 

*' Henry II. was too astute a ruler not to put himself at once on a good foot- 
ing with the citizens. One of his first acts was to confirm the Great Charter 
of his grandfather." ^ 

Miss Norgate similarly asserts that " the charter granted 
by Henry II. to the citizens, some time before the end of 1158, 
is simply a confirmation of his grandfather's."* Such, indeed, 
would seem to be the accepted belief. Yet, when we compare 
the two documents, we find that the special concessions with 
which I am here dealing, and which form the opening clauses 
of the charter of Henry I., are actually omitted altogether in 
that of Henry II. ! ^ This leads us to examine the rest of the 

^ " Infinitas copias pecuniara . . . cum ore imperioso ab eis exegit " 
{Gesta Stephani). 

2 " Interpellata est et a civibus ut leges eis regis Edwardi observare licerot, 
quia optimse erant, non patris sui Henrici quia graves erant " (Cont. Flor. 

^ London (" Historic Towns "), p. 38. The Master of University similarly 
writes : " He [Henry II.] renewed the charter of the city of London " (i. 90). 

* England under the Angevin Kings, ii. 471. The writer, being only 
acquainted with tiie printed copy of the charter (Liher Custumarum, ed. 
Riley, pp. 31, 32), had only the names of the two witnesses there given (the 
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London) to guide her, but, 
fortunately, the Liber Ruheus version records all the witnesses (thirteen in 
number) together with the place of testing, thus limiting the date to 115i-56, 
and virtually to 1155. 

* The omitted clauses are these: " Sciatis me concessisse civibus meis 
Londoniarum, tenendum Middlesex ad firmam pro ccc libris ad compotum, 
ipsis et heredibus suis, de me et heredibus meis, ita quod ipsi cives ponent 
vicecomitem qualem voluerint de se ipsis, et justitiarium qualem voluerint 
de se ipsis, ad custodiendum placita coronas mesB et eadem placitanda ; et 
nullus alius erit justitiarius super ipsos homines Londoniarum." 


latter document. To facilitate this process I have here arranged 
the two charters side by side, and divided their contents into 
numbered clauses, italicizing the points of difference. 

Heney I. 

(1) Gives non placitabunt extra 
muros civitatis pro ullo placito. 

(2) Sint "quieti de scTiot et de loth 
de Danegildo et de murdro, et nuUus 
eorum faciat bellum. 

(3) Et si quis civium de placitis 
coronse implacitatus fuerit, per sacra- 
nientum quod judicatum fuerit in 
civitate, se disrationet homo Londoni- 

(4) Et infra muros civitatis nullus 
hospitetur, neque de mea faiuilia, 
neque de alia, nisi alicui hospitium 

(5) Et omnes homines Londoni- 
arum sint quieti et liberi, et omnes 
res eorum, et per totam Augliam et 
per portus maris, de thelonio et 
passagio et lestagio et omnibus aliis 

(6) Et ecclesisB et barones et 
cives teneant et habeaut bene et in 
pace socnas suas cum omnibus con- 
suetudinihus, ita quod hospites qui 
in soccis suis hospitantur nulli dent 
consuetudines suas, nisi illi cujus 
socca fuerit, vel ministro suo quem ibi 

(7) Et homo Londonianim non 
judicehir in misericordia pecuniae nisi 
ad suam were, scilicet ad c solidos, 
dico de placito quod ad pecuniam 

Henry II. 

(1) Nullus eorum placitet extra 
muros civitatis Londoniarum^ de 
ullo placito prseter placita de tenuris 
exterioribus, exceptis monetariis et 
ministris meis. 

(2) Concessi etiam eis quietanciam 
murdri, [e^^] infra nrhem et Port- 
8o}:na,^ et quod nullus * faciat hel- 

(3) De placitis ad coronam [spec- 
tantibus ^] se possunt disrationare 
secundum antiquam consuetudinem 

(4) Infra muros nemo capiat 
hospitium per vim vel per libera- 
tionem Marescalli. 

(5) Omnes cives Londoniarum ^ 
sint quieti de theloneo et lestagio 
per totam Angliam et per portum* 

[This clause is wholly omitted.] 

(7) Nullus de misericordia pecuniae 
judicetur nisi secundum legem civi- 
tatis quamhabuerunt tempore Henrici 
reoris ^ avi mei. 

1 " Lond' " (Liber Bubeus) 
^ "'Portsoca" (L. B.). 
* "Duellum" (L. B.). 
' " London' " (L. B.). 

9 a 

2 " Et " omitted in L. B. 
* "Nullus eorum "(L. B.). 
« " Pertinentibus " (L. B.). 
« " Port' " (L. B.). 

Regis H." (L. B.). 


(8) Et amplius non sit misken- 
ninga in hustenge, neque in folkes- 
mote, neque in aliis placitis infra 
civitatem ; Et husteng sedeat semel 
in hebdomad a, videlicet die Lunae. 

(9) Et terras suas et wardemotum 
et debita civibus meis habere faciam 
infra civitatem et extra. 

(10) Et de terris de quibus ad me 
claraaverint rectum eis teuebo lege 

(12) Et omnes debi tores qui civibus 
debita debent eis reddant vel in Lon- 
doniis se disratiouent quod non debent. 
Quod si redder e noluerint, neque ad 
disrationandum venire, tunc cives 
quibus debita sua debent capiant intra 
civitatem namia sua, velde comitatu in 
quo manet qui debitum dtbet. 

(11) Et si quis thelonium vel con- 
suetudjnem a civibus Londoniarura 
ceperit, eives Londoniarum capiant 
de burgo vel de villa ubi theloneum 
vel consuetude capta I'uit, quantum 
homo Londoniarum pro theloneodedit, 
et proinde de damno ceperit.* 

(13) Et cives habeant fugationes 
suas ad fugandum sicut melius et 
pleuius liabuerunt antecessores eorum, 
scilicet Chiltre et Middlesex et Sureie. 

(8) In civitate in nullo placito sit 
miskenninga ; et quod Hustengus 
semel tantum in hebdomada teneatur. 

(9) Terras suas et tenuras et vadi- 
monia et debita omnia juste habeant, 
qnicunque eis debeat. 

(10) De terris suis et tenuris quas 
infra urbem sunt, rectum eis teneatur 
secundum legem * civitatis ; et de 
omnibus deLitis suis quae accomodata 
fuerint apud Londouias,'' et de vadi- 
moniis ibidem factis, placita [? sint] 
apud Londoniam.^ 

(11) Et si quis in tota Anglia thelo- 
neum et consuetudinem ab hominibus 
Londoniarum "^ ceperit, postquam 
ipse a recto defecerit, Vicecomes 
Londoniarum' namium inde apud 
Londonias * capiat. 

(12) Habeant fugationes suas, ubi- 
eumque ^ habuerunt tempore Regis 
Henrici avi mei. 

. (13) Insuper etiam, ad emenda- 
tionem civitatis, eis concessi quod * 
sint quieti de Brudtolle, et de Childe- 
wite, et de Yaresive,' et de Scotale ; 
ita quod Vicecomea meus (sic) Lon- 
don[iarumY vel aliquis alius balUvus 
Scotalla non facial. 

Before passing to a comparison of these charters, we must 
glance at the question of texts. The charter of Henry I. is 
taken from the Select Charters of Dr. Stubbs, w^ho has gone to 

» " Consuetudinem " (L. B.). * " Lond' " (L. R.). 

3 " Apud Lond' teneantur " (L. R.). 

* Clauses 11 and 12 in the charter of Henry I. are transposed in that of 
Henry II. But it is more convenient to show the transposition as I have 
done in the text. 

' " Eas habuerunt" (L. R.). « " Omnes sint " (i. B.). 

' " Yeresgieve " (L. R.). • " London' " {L. R.). 



the Fcedera for his text (which is taken from an Inspeximns of 
5 Edw. IV.). That of Henry II. is taken from the transcript 
in the Liber Custumarum (collated with the Liber Eubeus). 
Neither of these sources is by any means as pnre as could be 
wished. The names of the witnesses in both had always aroused 
my suspicions,^ but the collation of the two charters has led to 
a singular discovery. It will be noticed that in the charter of 
Henry I. the citizens are guaranteed *' terras et wardemotum et 
debita sua." Now, this is on the face of it an unmeaning com- 
bination. Why should the wardmoot be thus sandwiched 
between the lands of the citizens and the debts due to them ? 
And what can be the meaning of confirming to them their 
wardmoot (? wardmoots), when the hustings is only mentioned 
as an infliction and the folkmoot as a medium of extortion ? 
Yet, corrupt though this passage, on the face of it, appears, 
our authorities have risen at this unlucky word, if I may 
venture on the expression, like pike. Dr. Stubbs, Professor 
Freeman, Miss Norgate, Mr; Green, Mr. Loftie, Mr. Price, etc., 
etc., have all swallowed it without suspicion. Historians, like 
doctors, may often differ, bat truly " when they do agree their 
unanimity is wonderful." Collation^ however, fortunately 
proves that "wardemotum " is nothing more than a gross mis- 
reading of " vadimonia," a word which restores to the passage 
its sense by showing that what Henry confirmed to the citizens 
was " the property mortgaged to them, and the debts due to 

Having thus enforced the necessity for caution in arguing 
from the text as it stands, I would urge that, with the exception 
of the avowed addition at the close, the later charter has, in 
sundry details, the aspect of a grudging confirmation, restricting 

^ The first two witnesses to that of Henry I. are given as "episcopo 
Wintou., Roberto filio Richer, (sic).*^ TJie bishop's initial ought to be given, 
and the second witness is probably identical with Robert fitz Richard. 
" Huberto (sic) regis camerariu " has also a suspicious sound. In the second 
charter the witnesses are given in the Liber Custumarum as " Arcbiepiscopo 
Cautuarise, Rieardo Episcopo Loudoniarum." Here, again, the primate's 
initial should be given ; as, indeed, it is in the (more accurate) Liber Rubeus 
version, where {vide supra, p. 367) all the witnesses are entered. 

* This explanation is confirmed by examining other municipal charters 
based on that of London. In them this clause always confirms (1) "terras 
et tcnuras," (2) " vadia," (3) " debita." 


rather than enlarging the benefits conferred. This, however, 
is but a small matter in comparison with its total omission of 
the main concession itself. This fact, so strangely overlooked, 
coincides with the kinor's allusion to the sheriff as " vicecomes 
mens " (no longer the citizens' sheriff),^ but explains above all 
the circumstance, which would be quite inexplicable without 
it, that the firma is again, under Henry II., found to be not 
£300, but over £500 a year. 

In 1164 (10 Hen. II.) the firma of London, if I reckon it 
right, was, as in 1130 (31 Hen. T.), about £520.' In 1160 
(6 Hen. II.) it was a few pounds less,^ and in 1161 (7 Hen. II.) 
it was little, it would seem, over £500.^ But in these calcula- 
tions it is virtually impossible to attain perfect accuracy, not 
only from the system of keeping accounts partly in lihrse partly 
in marcse, and partly in money "blanched" partly in money 
"numero," but also from the fact that the figures on the Pipe- 
Rolls are by no means so infallible as might be supposed.^ 

Nor does the charter of Richard I. (April 23, 1194) make 
any change. It merely confirms that of his father. But John, 
in addition to confirming this (June 17, 1199), granted a 
supplementary charter (July 5, 1199) — 

* In confirmation of this view, it may be pointed out that where this 
same clause occurs in charters to other towns, the words are " vicecomes 
nosier" in cases, as at Winchester, where the king retains in his hand the 
appointment of reeve, but simply (as at Lincoln) " praepositus " or (as at 
NorthamptoT)) "prsepositus Northamtonie," where the right to elect the 
reeve was also conceded. 

2 £()6 17s. \d. "blanch" plus £474 17s. l^d. " numero." 

3 £415 19s. "blanch " plus £78 3s. M. " numero." 

* £181 148. 5d. "blanch " plus £335 Os. Id. "numero." 

* As an example of the possibility of error, in the printed Roll of 1159 
(5 Hen. II.) a town is entered on the Eoll as paying " quater xx. Iv. 
libras et ii marcas et dim'." The explanation of this unintelligible entry 
is, I may observe, as follows. The original entry evidently ran, "quater xx 
et ii marcas et dim' " (82J marcs). Over this a scribe will have written the 
equivalent amount in pounds ("Iv librae") by interlineation. Then came 
the modern transcriber, who with the stupidity of a mechanical copyist 
brought down this interlineation into the middle of the entry, thus converting 
it into sheer nonsense. We have also to reckon with such clerical errors as 
the addition or omission of an " x " or an " i," of a " bl." or a " no." Where 
the total to be accounted for is stated separately, we have a means of checking 
the accounts. But where, as at London, this is not so, we cannot be too 
careful in accepting the details as given. See also Addenda. 


" Sciatis DOS concessisse et prsesenti Charta nostra coufirmasse civibus 
T.ondoniarum Yicecuinitatura Londoniarum et de Middelsexia, cum omnibus 
rebus et consuetudinibus quae pertinent ad prsedictum Vicecomitatum . . . 
reddendo inde annuatim nobis et heredibus nostris ccc libras sterlingorum 
blancorum . . . Et prseterea concessimus civibus Londoniarum, quod ipsi 
de se ipsis faciant Yicecomites quoscunque voluerint, et amoveant quando 
voluerint ; . . . Hanc vero concessionem et confirmationem fecimus civibus 
Londoniarum propter emendationera ejusdem civitatis et quia antiquitus 
consuevit esse ad firmam pro ccc libris." ^ 

Here at length we leturn to tlie concessions of Henry I., with 
which this charter of John ought to be carefully compared. 
With the exception of the former's provision about the " jus- 
ticiar " (an exception which must not be overlooked), the 
concessions are the same. The subsequent raising of the firma 
to £400 (in 1270), and its eventual reduction to £300 (in 1327), 
have been already dealt with (pp. 358, 359). 

We see then that, in absolute contradiction of the received 
belief on the subject, the shrievalty was not in the hands of 
the citizens during the twelfth century {i.e. from "1101"), 
but was held by them for a few years only, about the close of 
the reign of Henry I, The fact that the sherifPs of London 
and Middlesex were, under Henry II. and Richard I., appointed 
throughout by the Crown, must compel our historians to 
reconsider the independent position they have assigned to the 
City at that early period. The Crown, moreover, must have 
had an object in retaining this appointment in its hands. We 
may find it, I think, in that jealousy of exceptional privilege 
or exemption which characterized the regime of Henry II. For, 
as I have shown, the charters to Geoffrey remind us that the 
ambition of the urban communities was analogous to that of 
the great feudatories in so far as they both strove for exemption 
from official rule. It was precisely to this ambition that 
Senry II. was opposed; and thus, when he granted his charter 
to London, he wholly omitted, as we have seen, two of his 
grandfather's concessions, and narrowed down those that 
remained, that they might not be operative outside the actual 
walls of the city. When the shrievalty was restored by John 
to the citizens (1199), the concession had lost its chief im- 
portance through the triumph of the " communal " principle. 
^ Liber Custumarum (Rolls Series), pp. 2i9-251. 


J / J 

When that civic revolution had taken place which introduced 
the "communa" with its mayor — a revolution to which 
Henry II. would never, writes the chronicler, have submitted 
— when a Londoner was able to boast that he would have no 
king but his mayor, then had the sheriff's position become but 
of secondary importance, subordinate, as it has remained ever 
since, to that of the mayor himself. 

The transient existence of the local justitiarius is a pheno- 
menon of great importance, which has been wholly misunder- 
stood. The Mandeville charters afford the clue to the nature 
of this office. It represents a middle term, a transitional stage, 
between the essentially local shire-reeve and the central " justice " 
of the king's court. I have already (p. 106) shown that the 
office sprang from " the differentiation of the sheriff and the 
justice," and represented, as it were, the localization of the 
central judicial element. That is to say, the justitiarius for 
Essex, or Herts., or London and Middlesex, was a purely local 
officer, and yet exercised, within the limits of his bailiwick, all 
the authority of the king's justice. So transient was this state of 
things that scarcely a trace of it remains. Yet Richard de Luci 
may have held the post, as we saw (p. 109), for the county of 
Essex, and there is evidence that Norfolk had a justice of its 
own in the person of Ralf Passelewe.^ Now, in the case of 
London, the office was created by the charter of Henry I., 
granted (as I contend) towards the end of his reign, and it 
expired with the accession of Henry II. It is, therefore, in 
Stephen's reign that we should expect to find it in existence; 
and it is precisely in that reign that we find the office eo nomine 
twice granted to the Earl of Essex and twice mentioned as held 
by Gervase, otherwise Gervase of Cornhill.^ 

The office of the " Justiciar of London " should now be no 
longer obscure ; its possible identity with those of portreeve, 
sheriff, or mayor cannot, surely, henceforth be maintained. 

^ " Contra Kadulfum de Belphago qui tunc vicecomes erat in provincia ilia 
et contra Radulfum Passelewe ejusdem provinciae justiciarium " (Bamsey 
Cart, i. 149). 

' See Appendix K, on '= Gervase of Cornhill." 

( 374 ) 



(See p. 170.) 

The reference to this personage in the charter to the Earl of 
Essex is of quite exceptional interest. He was the Osbert 
(or Osbern) " Huit-deniers " {alias " Octodenarii " alias " Octo- 
nummi ") who was a wealthy kinsman of Becket and employed 
him, in his house, as a clerk about this very time {circ. 1139- 
1142). We meet him as " Osbertus YIII. denarii" at London 
in 1130 (Bot. Pip., 31 Hen. I.), and I have also found him 
attesting a charter of Henry I., late in the reign, as " Osberto 
Octodenar[ii]." Garnier^ tells us that the future saint — 

" A soen parent vint, im riche hume Lundreis, 
Ke mult ert koneiiz et de Frauns et d'Engleis, 
O Osbern witleniers, ki I'retint demaneis. 
Puis fu ses escriveins, ne sais dous ans, u treiss." 

Another biographer writes : — 

" Rursus vero Osbernus, Octonummi cognomine, vir insignis in civitate et 
multarum possessionum cut came propinquus erat detentum circa se Thomam 
fere per trienniuin in breviandis sumptibus redditibusque suis jugiter 
oocupabat." ^ 

The influential position of this wealthy Londoner is dwelt 
on by yet another biographer : — 

"Ad quendam Luudrenseni, cognatutn suum, qui non solum inter 
cdnoives, verum etiam apud curiales, grandis erat nominis et honoris se 
contulit." ' 

In one of the appendices we shall detect him under the 
strange form " Ottdevers "* ( = " Ottdeuers," a misreading for 

* Vie de St. Thomas (ed. Hippeau, 1859). ^ Grim. 
' Auetor anonymus. 

* Its apparent dissimilarity to the " Octod' " of Geoffrey's charter is 
instructive to note. 


" Ottdeners ") witnessing a treaty arrangemeiit between the 
Earls of Hereford and Gloucester. This he did in his capacity 
of feudal tenant to the latter, for in the Uarl of Gloucester's 
Carta (1166) of his tenants in Kent we read: " Feodum Osberti 
oitdeniers i mil [item]," from which we learn that he had held 
one knight's fee.^ 

This singular cognomen, though savouring of the nickname 
period, may have become hereditary, for we njeet with a Philip 
Utdeners in 1223, and with Alice and 4-gnes his daughters in 

As I have here alluded to Becket it may be permissible to 
mention that as the statements of his biographers in the matter 
of Osbert are confirmed by this extraneous evidence, so have 
we also evidence in charters of his residence, as "Thomas of 
London," in the primate's household. To two charters of 
Theobald to IJarls Colne Priory the first witness is " Thoma 
Lond' Capellano nostro," ^ while an even more interesting 
charter of the primate brings before us those three names, 
which, says William of Canterbury, were those of his three 
intimates, the first witness being Roger of Bishopsbridge, while 
the fourth and fifth are John of Canterbury and Thomas of 
London, " clerks."^ Here is abundant evidence that Becket was 
then known as " Thomas of London," as indeed Gervase of 
Canterbury himself implies.^ 

^ Hearne, who prints this entry, "Feodum Osberti oct. deniers i. mil." 
(Liber Niger, ed. 1774, i. 53), makes it the occasion of an exquisitely funny 
display of erudite Latinity, in which he gravely rebukes Dugdale for his 
ignorance on the subject ("quid sibi velit denariata militis ignorasse videtur 
Dugdalius quam taraen is facile intelliget," etc., etc.), having himself mis- 
taken the tenant's name for a term of land measurement. 

2 Bracton's Note-hook (ed. Maitland), ii. 616 ; iii. 495. A Nicholas 
" Treys-deners " or "Treydeners" occurs in Cornwall in the same reign 
(De Banco, 45-46 Hen. III., Mich., No. 16, m. 62). "Penny" and "Two- 
penny " are still familiar surnames among us, as is also " Pennyfather " 
(? Pennyfarthing). 

2 Addl. MS., 5860, fols. 221, 223 (ink). 

♦ CotL MSS., Nero, 0. iii. fol. 188. 

* " Clerico suo Thomse Londoniensi " (1. 160). 

( 37^ ) 



(See pp. 92, 168, 182.) 

The references to assarts and to (forest) pleas in the first and 
second charters of the Empress ought to be carefully compared, 
as they are of importance in many ways. They run thus 
respectively : — 

First Charter. Second Charter. 
Ut ipse et omnes homines sui per Quod ipse et omnes homines sui 
totara Angliam sint quieti de Wa>ti8 habeant et lucrentur omnia essarta 
forestariis et assartis que facta sunt sua libera et quieta de omnibus pla- 
in feodo ipsius Gaufredi usque ad citis facta usque ad diem qua servicio 
diem quo homo mens devenit, et ut a domini mei Comitis Andegavie ac 
die illo in antea omnia ilia essarta meo adhaesit. 
sint amodo excultibilia, et arrabilia 
sine forisfacto. 

A similar provision will be found in the charter to Aubrey 
de Yere. It is evident from these special provisions that the 
grantees attached a peculiar importance to this indemnity for 
their assarts; and it is equally noteworthy that the Empress 
is careful to restrict that indemnity to those assarts which had 
been made before a certain date ("facta usque ad diem qaa,^' 
etc.). This restriction should be compared with that which 
similarly limited the indemnity claimed by the barons of the 
Exchequer,^ and which has been somewhat overlooked.^ 

Assarts are duly dealt with in the Leges Henrici Primi, 
and would form an important part of the " placita forestae " 
in his reign. It is reasonable to presume that one of the first 

* "Ut de hiis essartis dicantur quieti, quaB fuerant ante diem qua rex 
illustris Eenricus primus rebus humanis ezemptus est" {Dialogus, i. 11). The 
reason for the restriction is added. 

* See, for instance, The Forest of Essex (Fisher), p. 313. 


results of the removal of his iron hand would be a violent 
reaction against the tyranny of " the forest." Indeed, we know 
that Stephen was compelled to give way upon the point. A 
general outburst of "assarting" would at once follow. Thus 
the prospect of the return, with the Empress, of her father's 
forest- law would greatly alarm the offenders who were guilty 
of " assarts." ^ 

But, farther, the earl's fief lay away from the forest proper. 
Why, then, was this concession of such importance in his eyes ? 
We are helped towards an answer to this question by Mr. 
Fisher's learned and instructive work on The Forest of Essex. 
The facts there given, though needing some slight correction, 
show us that the Crown asserted in the reign of Henry III., 
that the portion of the county which had been afforested since 
the accession of Henry II. had (with the exception of the 
hundred of Tendring) been merely reafforested, having been 
already "forest" at the death of Henry I., though under 
Stephen it had ceased to be so. This claim, which was success- 
fully asserted, affected more than half the county. Now, it 
is singular that throughout the struggle, on this subject, with 
the Crown, the true forest, that of Waltham (now Epping), was 
always conceded to be " within forest." Mr. Fisher's valuable 
maps show its limits clearly. It was, accordingly, tacitly 
admitted by the perambulation consequent on the Charter of 
the Forest to have been "forest " before 1154. 

The theory suggested to me by these data is this. Stephen, 
we know, by his Charter of Liberties consented that all the 
forests created by Henry I. should be disafforested, and retained 
for himself only those which had been " forest " in the days 
of the first and the second William. Under this arrangement 
he retained, I hold, the small true forest (Waltham forest), 
but had to resign the grasp of the Crown on the additions made 
to it by Henry I., which amounted to considerably more than 
half the county. My view that this sweeping extension of 
" forest " was the work of Henry I. is confirmed by the fact 
that his "forest" policy is admittedly the most objectionable 

^ As a matter of fact, her son's succession was marked by the taction of 
heavy sums, under this head, as shown by the extracts from his first Pipe- 
Roll in the Red book of the Exchequer. 


feature of his rule. Nor, I take it, was ifc inspired so much 
by the love of sport as by the great facilities it afforded for 
pecuniary exaction. In the Pipe-Roll of his thirty-first year 
we find (to adapt an old saying) " forest pleas as thick as 
fleas " in Essex, affording proof, moreover, that his " forest " 
had extended to the extreme north-east of the Lexden hundred. 
Here then again, I believe, as in so many other matters, 
Henry H. ignored his predecessor, and reverted to the status 
quo ante. Nor was the claim he I'evived finally set at rest, till 
Parliament disposed of it for ever in the days of Charles I. 
An interesting charter bearing on this subject is preserved 
to us by Inspeximus.^ It records the restoration by Stephen 
to the Abbess of Barking of all her estates afforested by 
Henry I.^ Now, this charter, which is tested at Clarendon 
(perhaps the only record of Stephen being there), is witnessed 
by W[illiani] Martel, A[ubrey] de Ver, and E[ustace] fitz 
John. The name of this last witness^ dates the charter as 
previous to 1138 (when he threw over Stephen), and, virtually, 
to the king's departure for Normandy earlj- in 1137. Con- 
sequently (and this is an important point) we here have Stephen 
granting, as a favour, to Barking Abbey what he had promised 
in his great charter to grant universally.* This confirms the 
charge made by Henry of Huntingdon that he repudiated the 
concession he had made. His subsequent troubles, however, 
must have made it difficult for him to adhere to this policy, 
or check the process of assarting. His grant to the abbess was 
unknown to Mr. Fisher, who records an inquest of 1292, by 
wbicb it was found that the woods of the abbess were " without 
the Regard;" and the Regarders were forbidden to exercise 
their authority within them. 

^ Pat. 2 Hen. VI., p. 3, m. 18. 

^ " Reddo et concedo ecclesise Berchingie et Abbatissae Adel[icia3] omues 
boscos et terras suas . . . quas Henricus Bex afforestavit, ut illas excolat et 

^ Probably present as a brother of the abbess (" Soror Pagani filil 
Johannis "). 

* " Omnes forestas quas rex Henricus superaddidit ecclesiis et regno 
quietas reddo et concedo." 






(See p. 176.) 

The document whicli is printed below is unknown, it would 
seem, to historians. It is of a very singular and, in many ways, 
of a most instructive character. The fact that Earl Miles is 
one of the contracting parties dates the document as belonging 
to the period between his creation (Jul}^ 25, 1141) and his 
death (December 24, 1143). Further, the fact that the treaty 
provides for the surrender by him to the Earl of Gloucester of 
one of his sons as a hostage, taken with the fact that the Earl 
of Gloucester is recorded {supra, p. 196) to have demanded 
from his leading supporters their sons as hostages when he left 
England for Normandy, creates an extremely strong pre- 
sumption that this document should be assigned to that occasion 
(June, 1142). It is here printed from a transcript by Dugdale, 
which I found among his MSS. The absence of any provision 
defining the services to be rendered by Earl Miles suggests that 
this portion of the treaty is omitted in the transcript. There is, 
I think, just a chance that the original may yet be discovered 
among the public records, for they fortunately contain a similar 
treaty between the sons and successors of the two contracting 
parties.^ It may be, however, that the original is the document 
referred to by Dugdale {Baronage, i. 537) as " penes Joh. Philipot 
Somerset Heraldum anno 1640." The close resemblance between 
the later document ^ and that which I here print confirms the 

^ Duchy of Lancaster : Ancient Charters, Box A. No. 4 {Thirty-Fifth 
Beport of Deputy Keeper [1874], p. 2). 



authenticity of the latter, and is, it will be seen, illustrated b}^ 
the wording of the opening clauses : — 

Xoscant omnes haric esse confede- Haec est confederatio amoris inter 

rationem amoris inter Robertum "Willelmum Coraitem Gloec[estrie] et 

Comitem Gloecestrie et Milonem Rogerura comitem Herefordie. 
Comitem Herefordie. 

We have also the noteworthy coincidence that Richard de St. 
Quintin and Hugh de Hese, who are here hostages respectively 
for the Earls of Grloucester and Hereford, figure again in the 
later document as hostages for the earls' successors.^ 

Another document with which this treaty should be carefully 
compared is the remarkable agreement, in the same reign, 
between the Earls of Chester and of Leicester,^ though this latter 
suggests by its title — " Haec est conventio . . . et finalis pax et 
Concordia," etc. — the settlement of a strife between them rather 
than a friendly alliance. I see in it, indeed, the intervention, 
if not the arbitration, of the Church. 

Both these alliances, again, should be compared, for their 
form, with the treaty between Henry I. and Count Robert of 
Flanders.^ Although a generation earlier than the document 
here printed, the parallels are very striking : — 

Robertus, Comes Flandrise, fide et Robertas, Comes Gloecestrie assecu- 

sacramento assecuravit Regi Henrico ravit Milonem Comitem Herefordie 

vitam suam et membra quae corpori fide et sacramento, ut custodiet illi 

8U0 pertinent . . . et quod juvabit pro toto posse suo et sine ingenio 

eum, etc. suam vitam et suum membrum . . . 

et auxiliabitur illi, etc. 

Porro Comitissa aflSdavit, quod, Et in hac ipsa confederatione 

quantum poterit, Comitem in hac amoris,aflBdavit Comitissa Gloecestrie 

conventione tenebit, et in amicitia quod suum dominum in lioc amore 

regis, et in prsedicto servitio fideliter erga Milonem Comitem Hereford pro 

per amorem. ' pf^sse suo tenebit. 

Hujus conveiitionis tenendae ex Et de hac conventione tenenda ex 

parte Comitis obsides sunt subsciipti. parte Comitis Gloecestrie sunt hii 

. . . Quod si Comes ab hac conven- obsides, etc. . . . Quod si Comes 

tione exierit et . . . infra xl dies Gloecestrie de hac conventione exiret 

emendare noluerit, etc. . . . Et si infra xl dies se nollet erga 

Comitem Herefordie erigere, etc. 

' A somewhat similar treaty to tliis may be hinted at in the statement 
that Roger de Berkeley was connected with Walter de Gloucester " amicitia 
et alternge pacis fcedere sibi astrictum" {Geda Stepkani). 

2 Cott. MS., Nero, C. iii. fol. 178. 

' Printed in Hearne's Liber Niger (i. 16-23). 



The Treaty. 

Noscant omnes hanc esse confederationem amoris inter Ro- 
bertum Comitem Grloecestrie et Milonem Comitem Herefordie, 
Robertus Comes Gloecestrie assecuravit Milonem Comitem 
Herefordie fide et sacramento ut custodiet illi pro toto posse 
suo et sine ingenio suam vitam et suum membrum et terrenum 
suum honorem, et auxilia^bitur illi ad custodieDdum sua castella 
et sua recta et sua hereditaria et sua tenementa et sua con- 
quisita quae modo habet et quae faciet, et suas consuetudines et 
rectitudines et suas libertates in bosco et in piano et aquis, et 
quod sua hereditaria quae modo non habet auxiliabitur ad con- 
quirendum. Et si aliquis vellet inde Comiti Hereford malum 
facere, vel de aliquo decrescere, si comes Hereford vellet inde 
guerrare, quod Robertus comes Gloecestrie cum illo se teneret, 
et quod ad suum posse illi auxiliaretur per fidem et sine ingenio, 
nee pacem neque treuias cum illis haberet qui malum comiti 
Herefordiae inferret, nisi per bonum velle et grantam {sic) 
Comitis Herefordiae, et nominatim de hac guerra quae modo 
est inter Imperatricem et Regem Stephanum se cum comite 
Hereford tenebit et ad unum opus erit, et de omnibus aliis 

Et in hac ipsa confederation e amoris affidavit Comi- 
tissa Gloecestrie quod suum dominum in hoc amore erga 
Milonem Comitem Hereford pro posse suo tenebit. Et si inde 
exiret, ad suum posse ilium ad hoc reponeret. Et si non 
jjosset, legalem recordationem, si opus esset, inde faceret ad 
suum scire. 

Et de hac conventione firmiter tenenda ex parte Comitis 
Gloecestrie sunt hii obsides per fidem et sacramentum erga 
Comitem Hereford : hoc modo, quod si comes Gloecestrie de 
hac conventione exiret, dominum suum Comitem Gloecestrie 
I'equirerent ut se erga Comitem Herefordiae erigeret. Et si 
infra xl dies se noUet erga Comitem Herefordie erigere, se 
Comiti Herefordie liberarent, ad faciendum de illis suum velle, 
vel ad illos retinendum in suo servitio donee illos quietos cla- 
raaret vel ad illos ponendos ad legalem redemptionem ita ne terra 
[? terram] perderent, Et quod legalem recordationem de hac 
conventione facerent si opus esset, Guefridus de Waltervill, Ricar- 


dus de Greinvill/ Osbernus Ottdevers,^ Reinald de Caliagiiis,^ 
Hubertus Dapifer, Odo Sorus/ Gislebertus de Urafravil,^ 
Ricardus de Sancto Quintino.^ 

Et ex parte Milonis Comitis Hereford ad istud confirmanduni 
concessit Milo Comes Hereford Roberto Comiti Gloecestrie 
Mathielum filium suum tenendum in obsidem donee gaerra 
inter Imperatricem et Regem Stepbanum et Henricum filium 
Imperatricis finiatur. 

Et interim si Milo Comes Hereford voluerit aliquem alium de 
suis filiis, qui sanus sit, in loco Mathieli filii sui ponere,recipietur. 

Et postquam guerra finita fuerit et Robertus Comes Gloe- 
cestrie et Milo Comes Hereford terras suas et sua recta reha- 
buerint reddet Robertus Comes Gloecestrie Miloni Comiti Here- 
fordie filium suum. Et hinc de probis hominibus utriusque 
comitis coQsiderabuntur et capientur obsides et securitates de 
amore ipsorum comitum tenendo imperpetuum. 

Et de bac conventione amoris Rogerus filius Comitis Hereford 
afiidavit et juravit Comiti Gloecestrie quod patrem suum pro posse 
suo tenebit ; Et si Comes Hereford inde velletexire, Rogerus filius 
suus, inde ilium requireret et inde ilium oorrigeret. Et si Comes 
Hereford se inde erigere nollet, servicium ipsius Rogeri filii sui 
prorsus perdet, donee se erga Comitem Gloecestrie erexisset. 

Et de bac conveutione ex parte Comitis Hereford sunt hii 
sui homines obsides erga Comitem Gloecestrie et per sacra- 
menta ; boc modo, quod si Comes Hereford de bac conventione 
exiret, dominum suum Comitem Hereford requirerent ut se erga 

^ Kicliard deGreinvill appears iu 1166 as the \aie holder of sev^n knights' 
fees from the earl {Liber Niger). 

2 Osbern Ottdevers (i.e. Ottderiers) was Osbern Octodenarii, alias Octo- 
Dummi (see Appendix Q). He appears in 1166 as the late tenant of one 
knight's fee from the earl in Kent (ibid.). 

^ Philip '* de Chahaines " appears as a tenaut of the earl in 116G 

* An Odo Soius is alleged to have accompanied Robert fitz Hamon into 
Wales. Jordan Sorus was the largest tenaut of the earl in 1166, holding fif- 
teen knights' fees from him (Liber Niger). His predecessor, Kobcrt Sorus, had 
heldof the fief under Robert fitz Hamon aire. 1107 (Cart. Abingdon, ii. 96, 106). 

* Gilbert de Umfravill held nine knights' fees from the earl iu 1166 (Liber 

^ Richard de St. Quintin held ten knights' fees from the earl in 1166 
(ibid.). His family had been tenants of the fief even under Robert fitz 
Hamon (Cart. Abingdon, ii. 96, 106). 


Coraitem Gloecestrie erigeret. Et si infra xl dies se nollet erga 
Comitem Gloecestrie erigere se Comiti Gloecestrie liberarent ad 
faciendum de illis siium velle, vel ad illos retinendum in sue 
servicio donee illos quietos clamaret, vel ad illos ponendos ad 
legalem redemptionem, ita ne terram perdent. Etquod legaleni 
recordation em de hac conventione in Curia facerent si opus 
esset, Robertus Corbet, Willelmus Mansel, Hugo de la Hese. 

( 384 ) 



(Seep. 177.) 

" Hanc antem . . . affidavi manu mea propria in manu ipsius 
Comitis Gaufredi." This formula ("affidavi ... in manu") 
is deserving of careful study. It ought to be compared with 
a passage in the Chronicle of Abingdon (ii. IGO), describing how, 
some quarter of a century before, in the assembled county 
court {comitatus) of Berkshire, the delegate of the abbey, " pro 
ecclesia affidavit fidem in manu ipsius vicecomitis, vidente 
toto comitatu." This was a case of " affidatio" by proxy ; but 
in the above charter we find Geoffrey stipulating for "affidatio" 
in person (" propria manu ") by the Empress, her husband, and 
her son. Accordingly, when the young Henry confirms his 
mother's charter to Aubrey de Vere (see p. 186), he does so 
" manu mea propria in manu Hugonis de Inga, sicut mater 
mea Imperatrix affidavit in manu Comitis Gaufredi." Thus 
Geoffrey allowed himself the privilege, which he refused to 
the other contracting party, of " affidatio " by proxy, and made 
Hugh de Ing his delegate for the purpose. 

A curious allusion to this practice is found in the words of 
Ranulf Flambard some half a century earlier, when he promises 
the captor in Avhose power he w^as to grant him all that he can 
ask, " et ne discredas promissis, ecce manu affirmo quod pol- 
liceor." — Continuatio Historiee Turgoti (Anglia Sacra, i. 707). 
The formula was probably of great antiquity. It occurs in the 
lifetime of Archbishop Oswald (died 992), who obtained a 
lease for life on behalf of a certain Wulfric, of the provisions 
in which we read: "Hoc totum idem Wlfricus. sub oculis 
multorum qui aderant, in manu viri Dei qui pro eo intercessor 
accesserat affidavit^^ {Chron. JRam.,'p. 81). It is found, how- 


ever, as late as 1187, when at the foundation of Dodnash 
Priory the canons " juraverunt et fidem in manu nostra corpo- 
raliter . . . firmaverunt," says the bishop (^Ancient Charters, 
p. 88). Another late instance is found in the Burton Cartulary 
(fol. 33), where Robert fitz Walter, that his grant "incon- 
cussum permaneat, in toto comitatu, multis cementibus qui se 
ipsos testes concesserunt, in manu Vicecomitis Serlonis manu 
mea hoc tenendum et servandum affidavi." So also in the Pipe- 
Roll of 3 John we find recorded a lease, " et quod ipse Micael 
et Everardus frater suus affidaverunt in manu H. Cantuarensis 
Arch, banc Conventionem fideliter tenendam " (Rot. 6 6). An 
instance, in 1159, may be quoted from the Cartulary of St. Michael 
on the Mount because of its carious legal bearing. Robert de 
Belvoir mortgages to the abbey lands which he had settled 
on his wife in dower, and, in order to bar her claim, she, 
hy her brother, guarantees the transaction by " affidatio in 
manu " to the abbot's delegate.^ This arrangement should be 
compared with that which is discussed in my Ancient Charters, 
pp. 22, 23.^ Perhaps, however, the most singular case is one 
which I noted in the Cartulary (MS.) of Bievaulx, and which 
is also of the reign of Henry II. A. widow grants lands to 
that abbey, " et illam donationem tenendam et fideliter obser- 
vandam manu propria affidavit in manu Vicecomitissae, vid. 
Bert[8e] uxoris viceconaitis Ranulfi de Glanvill[a]."^ The 
conjunction here of the two women, the presence of the great 
Glanville himself, and the part played by his wife, together 
with the title assigned her, ail combine to render the transaction 
one of unusual interest. 

It was by this formal and binding pledge that the leaders 
of the English host swore to one another to do or die on the 
field of the Battle of the Standard. Turning to William of 
Aumale, and placing his hand in his, Walter Espec pledged 
his faith that he would conquer or be slain; and his fellow- 

* *• Invadiavit Kotbertusde Belueerprosexlibris Genomannensium, terram 
suam quam dederat uxori sue in dotem, ipsa bene hoc concedente, PhiHppo 
fratri insuper fide sua in manu Johannis filii Bigoti illud idem sororem suam 
tenere assecuraute" (fol. 116). 

2 Ed. Pipe-Koll Society. 

2 "Hiis testibus, Ranulfo vicecomite, Bertha vicecomitissa, Matilda 
filia ejus." 



commanders did the same."^ It was, again, by this solemn 
pledge, towards the close of Stephen's reign, that the Bishop 
of Winchester, before his brother-prelates, covenanted to sur- 
render Winchester to the duke at the king's death ^— even as 
the duke himself had covenanted (April 9, 1152) with the 
Bishop of Salisbury concerning Devizes Castle^ — in terms to be 
closely compared with those of his charter to Aubrey, and his 
mother's to Earl Geoffrey in 1142. 

The practice is, I find, alluded to, incidentally, by Giraldus 
Cambrensis, who tells us that the Welsh " Adeo fidei foedus, 
aliis inviolabile gentibus, parvipendere solent, ut non in serii's 
solum et necessariis, verum in ludicris, omnique fere verbo 
firmando, dextrse manus ut mos est porrectione, signo usuali dato, 
fidem gratis effundere consueverint." Here the point of the 
complaint is that they made light of this solemn practice, 
indulging in it freely on every occasion instead of reserving it 
for important matters. The existence of this archaic " fidei 
foedus " as the formal conjirmatioji of a contract is, of course, 
of the greatest interest. It still lingers on, not only with us, 
but abroad. In San Marino (Italy), for instance, "sales are 
conducted with much animation. Two sturdy proprietors 
stand back to back. ... A third party stands between the 
two; ... he pulls one by the shoulder, the other by an elbow^, 
and finally by an apparently acrobatic feat he unites their 
hands " (" A Political Survival," Macmillans, January, 1891, p. 
197). In the Lebanon, we are told by a well-informed writer : 
"A few months ago I had occasion to enter into a business 
contract with oue of my Druse farmers. When wc were about 
to draw up the agreement, the Druse suggested that, as he 
could neither read nor write, we should ratify the bargain in 

' "Hsec dicens vertit se ad comitem Albemarlensem, dataque dextera, 
' Do,' inquit, ' fidem quia hodie ant vineam Scottos aut occidar a Scottis.' 
Quo gimiliter voto cuncti se proceres constrixerunt " (^thelred of Rievaulx). 

^ " Episcopus Wintonie in maiiu archiepiscopi Cantuarensis coram epis- 
copis affidavit quod si ego decederem castra Wintonie. . . . Duci redderet." 

' " Hunc supradictam conventionem . . . affidavit idem Comes (sic) in 
manu domini Cantuarensis archiepiscopi . . . sine malo ingenio ten en dam ; 
et cum eo Comes Gloucestrie. . . . Similiter et dominus episcopus Samm 
affidavit in manu ejusdem Legati," etc. (Sarum Charters and Documents, 
pp. 22, 23). 


the manner customary among his people. This consists of a 
solemn grasping of hands together in the presence of two or 
three other Druses as witnesses, whilst the agreement is recited 
by both parties. . . . Accordingly, the farmer brought three 
of his neighbours to me ; and the terms of our contract having 
been made known to them, one of them took the right hand of 
each of us and joined them together, whilst he dictated to us 
what to say after him " (" The Druses," Blachivood's, January, 
1891, pp. 754, 755). With us, Gerald would be grieved to 
hear, the ancient form survives not only for the bargain but 
the bet, though it only continues in full vigour as the sign of 
the marriage contract, where "the minister . . . shall cause 
the man with his right hand to take the woman by her right 
hand, and to say after him as followeth," — even as the Druses, 
we have seen, make their contracts to-day, and as the Empress 
Maud sealed her own seven centuries ago.^ 

The allusion by the Empress to the " Christianitas Angliae " 
refers doubtless to the fact that the breach of such "affidatio " 
would constitute a "laesio fidei," and would thus become a 
matter for the jurisdiction of the courts Christian. It was 
indeed on this plea that these courts claimed to attract to 
themselves all cases of contract, a claim against which, it is 
necessary to explain, an article (No. 15) of the Constitutions 
of Clarendon (1164) was specially directed.^ 

^ Compare the old English term " Handfasting." The law in Austria, 
it is said, still recognizes the clasping of hands as a formal contract. 

^ " Placita de debitis, quae fide interposita debentur, . . . sint in justitia 




(See p. 178.) 

The confusion on the pedigree and relationship of these two 
families is due, in the first places to the fact that, for several 
generations, the successive heads of the family of De Vere 
were all named Aubrey (" Albericus ") ; and in the second, to 
a chronicle of Walden Abbey, which proves as inaccurate as to 
the marriage of its founder as it is on the date of his creation.^ 
Dugdale, accepting all its statements without the slightest 
hesitation, has combined in a single passage no less than three 
errors, together with the means for their detection.'^ Among 
these is the statement that Geoffrey's wife was a daughter of 
Aubrey de Yere, " Earl of Oxford." ^ Accordingly, she so 
figures in Dagdale's tabular pedigree, and the same error has 
now reappeared in Mr. Doyle's Official Baronage} Oddly 
enough, in his account of the De Veres, a few pages before, 
Dugdale makes Geoffrey's wife daughter not of the Earl of 
Oxford, but of his grandfather Aubrey,^ and so enters her in 
the tabular pedigree.^ And yet she was, in truth, daughter 
neither of the earl nor of his grandfather, but of his father, 
the chamberlain.'^ To establish this will now be my task. 

Between the Aubrey de Vere of Domesday and the Aubrey 
de Vere "senior" of the Cartulary of Ahingdon Abbey, about 
twenty years are interposed. Their identity, therefore, is not 

^ See p. 45. = Baronage, i. 203 6. ' Ibid,, i. 201. 

* "m. Eohaise, d. of Aubrey de Vere, (afterwards) Earl of Oxford" 
(i. 682). 

' Baronage, i. 188 h. « Ibid., 189. 

' Strange to say, Dugdale gives also this third (and right) version (ibid , 
i. 463 a). 


actually proved, though the presumption, of course, is in its 
favour. But from the time of the latter Aubrey all is clear. 
The descent that we obtain from the Abingdon Cartulary is as 
follows : — 

Aubrey = 

-- Beatrice. 

de Vere, 

" senior." 


1 1 
Aubrey de Roger de 

Robert de 


(or Godfrey), 

Vere, Vere. 


de Vere, 

ob. V. p. at 


died soon 



after his 



Regis "), 

d. 1141. 

Our next source of information is the Cartulary of Colne 
Priory,^ in combination with an invaluable tract, De miraculis 
S. Osythse, composed by William de Vere, a brother of the first 
earl, and a canon of St. Osyth's Priory, Essex. Dugdale was 
acquainted with both documents, but lost the full force of the 
latter by failing to identify its author. He gives us as sons 
to Aubrey the chamberlain, and brothers to Aubrey the first 

earl, (a) William de Yere, (b) de Vere, canon of St. 

Osyth's. The identity of the two is proved, first, by a charter 
of Aubrey the chamberlain, in which he speaks of his " reve- 
rend" son William;^ secondly, by a, charter of Aubrey the 
earl, witnessed by his brother William, " presbyter ; "^ thirdly, 
by the charter from the Empress to the earl, in which she 
provides for all his brothers, the chancellorship, a clerical post, 
being promised to William.^ We may further assert of this tract 
that it must have been written after .1163, for the canon tells 
us that his mother has spent her twenty-two years of widow- 
hood at St. Osyth, and her husband had been killed in 1141.^ 

^ In Cole's transcript (British Museum). 

2 Ibid., No. 31. ^ Ibid., No. 43. * See p. 182. 

* It would seem clear that this William must have been the " Dominus 
Willelmus de Ver " to whom Dr. Stubbs alludes as the " early friend and 
fellow-student," at the University of Paris, of Arnulf, Bishop of Lisieux, 
and of the celebrated Ralf " de Diceto " (who may have been born, Dr. 
Stubbs suggests, about 1122). Bishop Arnulf, asking Ralf to come over 
and pay him a visit, tells him that William de Ver has promised to come too 
(see preface to liadulfus de Diceto, pp. xxxii., note, liv). But some difficulty 


In it he refers to his father the chamberlain/ as '' justitiarius 
totius Anglias." To this we may trace Dugdale's assertion 
that he held that high office, a statement which exercised 
the mind of Foss, who complains that "it is difficult to tell on 
what authority "he is introduced among its holders both by 
Dugdale and Spelman.^ He further speaks of his mother as 
" Adeliza," daughter of Grilbert de Clare, and exults in the fact 
that she has spent her widowhood, not in the family priory at 
Colne, but in that of his own St. Osyth. He refers also to his 
sister " Adeliza de Essexa filia Alberici de Yere et Adelizee." 
Now, we have abundant evidence that " Adeliza de Essex" was 
sister to the Countess Kohese, wife of Geoffrey de Mandeville, 
and was aunt to their sons. Earls of Essex.^ Accordingly, we 
find the Countess Rohese giving a rent-charge to Colne Priory 
for the souls of her father, Aubrey de Vere, and her husband, 
Earl Geoffrey, and we also find her son. Earl William, confirm- 
ing the charter " avi mei Alberici de Yere." ^ It is quite clear 

is caused by his appearing as a cauon, not of St. Osyth's, but of St. Paul's, 
in 1162 and later (Ninth Report Historical MSS., App. i. pp. 19 a, 32 a). It 
would seem to have been the latter William de Ver who became Bishop of 
Hereford in 1185, and died 1199. 

' He had received the " Cameraria Angliae " from Henry I., in a charter 
which must have passed on the occasion of the king leaving England for the 
last time in 113.*! Madox has printed the charter (which has a valuable list 
of witnesses) in his Baronia Angliea, from Dugdale's transcript. 

' Judges of England, i. 89. 

^ Thus the Chronicle of Walden Ahhey (Arundel MSS.) relates that at the 
death of Geoffrey, Earl of Essex, in 1166, his mother was living at her Priory 
of Chicksand, with her sister " Adeliza " of Essex. On the succession of bis 
brother William, "Alicia de Essexia" came to Walden Abbey '* ordinante 
comite Willelmo ejus nepote," and settled and died there (ibid., cap. 18). 
But the most important evidence is a charter of this same Earl William, 
abstracted in Lansdoicne MSS., 259, fol, 67, granting to " Adelicia of Essex," 
his mother's sister, the town of Aynho in free dower over and above the 
dower she had received from Roger fitz Richard, her lord. This charter is 
witnessed by his mother, " Roesia Comitissa ; " Simon de Beauchamp, his 
uterine brother ; Geoffrey de Ver and William de Yer, his uncles ; Ranulf 
Glanville, and Geoffrey de Say,' who was his cousin. He had previously 
granted Aynho (? in 1170) to Roger fitz Richard in exchange for Compton 
(co. Warwick), his charter being witnessed inter alios by John (de Lacy), the 
constable of Chester (see p. 392 n.), Ranulf de Glanville, and Geoffrey de Say 
(see my paper on " A Charter of William, Earl of Essex," in Eng. Hist. 
Review, April, 1891). 

* Colne Cartulary, Nos. 51, 54. 


that the Countess Rohese, wife of Geoffrey de Mandeville, fir^t 
Earl of Essex, was sister of Alice " de Essex," and daughter of 
Aubrey de Yere the chamberlain, by his wife Alice, daughter of 
Gilbert de Clare. 

But who was Alice " de Essex " ? We must turn, for an 
answer to this question, to the Chronicle of Walden Abbey. 
There we shall find that she naarried twice, and left issue by 
both husbands. Her first husband was Robert de Essex ^ ; her 
second was Roger fitz Richard, of Clavering, Essex, and Wark- 
worth, Northumberland, ancestor of the Claverings. Now, 
" Robert de Essex " was a well-known man, being son and heir 
of Swegen de Essex, Sheriff of Essex under William the Con- 
queror, and grandson of Robert "fitz Wimarc," a favourite of 
the Confessor, under whom he, too, was Sheriff of Essex. The 
descent is proved, in a conclusive manner, by the description 
of the second Robert among the benefactors to Lewes Priory, 
in one place as Robert fitz Suein, and in another as Robert de 
Essex.^ Robert had founded Prittlewell Priory as a cell to 
Lewes, " Alberico de Ver et Roberto fratre ejus " attesting the 
foundation charter.^ Robert's son and heir was the well-known 
Henry de Essex.* So far all is clear. But, unfortunately, it 
is certain that Robert de Essex left a widow, Gunnor — a Bigod 
by birth — who was mother of his son Henry. Therefore 
"Alice of Essex " cannot have been his widow. Consequently 
she must have been the widow of another Robert de Essex, 
possibly a younger son of his, who held Clavering from his 
elder brother Henry. In any case, by her second husband, 
Roger fitz Richard, Alice was mother of Robert fitz Roger (of 

We are now in a position to construct an authentic tabular 
pedigi'ee, showing the relationship that existed between the 
families of Mandeville and De Yere. 

* " Domino suo primo marlto Roberto scilicet de Essexia " ( Walden Abbey 
Chronicle). Dugdale makes her, in error, tlie wife of Henry de Essex. 

2 This descent has not hitherto been established, and Mr. Freeman speaks 
of Swegen of Essex as " father or grandfather of Henry de Essex." 

' He appears in the charters of this priory as " Robertas filius Suein " and 
as " Robertus de Essex filius Suein." 

'' See Appendix N. His paternity, which is well ascertained, is further 
proved by his confirmation, in the (MS.) Colchester Cartulary, of a gift by his 
father, Robert de Essex, to St. John's Abbey, Colchester. 


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It sliould be observed that this pedigree is not intended to 
show all the children. It gives those only which are required 
for our special purpose. On some points there is still need of 
more original information. No doubt Beatrice, wife of William 
de Say, was sister, and not daughter, to Geoffrey de Mande- 
ville. I know of nothing to the contrary. Still the fact would 
seem to rest on the authority of the Walden Chronicle. The 
re-marriage of the Countess of Essex to Payn de Bieauchamp, 
and her parentage, by him, of Simon, are both well established, 
but the date of her death is taken from the Chronicle, and seems 
suspiciously late. So also does that which is assigned to her 
brother, the Earl of Oxford, namely, 1194, fifty- two years after 
the charter of the Empress. Still, the fact that his mother 
survived her husband for twenty-two years implies that her 
children may have been comparatively young at his death. 
Both Aubrey and Rohese may therefore have been several 
years junior to Oeoffrey de Mandeville. 

But the main point has been, in- any case, established, 
namely, the true relationship of these baronial houses. That 
which is given by Dugdale contains the further error of repre- 
senting Alice de Vere as wife, not of Robert de Essex, but 
of Henry. Mr. W. S. Ellis, in his Antiquities of Heraldry 
(p. 210), observes with truth that, as to this relationship, the 
existing " accounts . . . are conflicting, and that of Dugdale 
contradictory." But I cannot admit that his own version is 
"correct, or approximately so ; " for while, with Dugdale, he 
errs in assigning to Alice de Vere Henry de Essex for husband, 
he transforms Roger fitz Richard, whom Dugdale had, rightly, 
given as her second husband, into her son-in-law.^ 

My reason for alluding to this passage is that, after I had 
worked out the heraldic corollaries of this descent in their 

^ I have purposely abstained from touching on the relationship of Lacy 
to De Vere, because there is evidently error somewhere in the account given 
by Dugdale, and as the descent is without my sphere, I have not investigated 
the question. The Eotulus de Dominahus should be consulted. Nor do I 
discuss the descent of Sackville. Mr. Ellis wrote : " The coat of Sackville, 
Quarterly, a bend vair€, is doubtless derived from De Vere, but by what 
match does not clearly appear." It is singular that William de Sackville, 
who died circa 1158, is said to have married Adeliza, daughter of " Aubrey 
the sheriflf," which points to some connection between the two families. 


bearing on the adoption of coat- armour,. I found that I had 
been anticipated in this investigation by the author of that 
scholarly work, Tlie Antiquities of Heraldry. As the conclu- 
sions, however, at which I had arrived differ slightly from 
those of Mr. Ellis, it may be worth while to set them forth. 
Mr. Ellis writes thus of " the simple quarterly shield " : — 

" Tliere can be little doubt that the source of this honoured armorial ensign 
is to be found in the distinguished family of De Vere, as all the families in 
the table who bear it are descended from the head of that house who lived 
at the commencement of the twelfth century." ^ 

I should differ with no slight hesitation from so ably argued 
and erudite a work, were it not that, in this case, its con- 
clusions are based on a false premiss. Thus we read, further 
on : — 

" Which was the original bearer of the quarterly coat of De Vere ? Was it 
Say, or Mandeville, or Lacy, or Beauchamp, or was it De Vere, from whom 
all, or their wives were descended ? " ^ 

Now, "the table" given by the writer himself (p. 210) dis- 
proves this statement, for it rightly shows us Say as descended 
from Mandeville, but not descended from De Yere. It is, 
therefore, shown by his own "table" that this must have been 
a case of the " collateral adoption " of arms, the very practice 
against which he here strenuously argues.^ Thus the very 
case he adduces against the existence of the practice is itself 
proof absolute that the practice did exist. I am compelled to 
emphasize this point because it is the pivot on which the 
question turns. If "all the families in the table" who bore 
the quarterly coat were indeed descended from De Vere, Mr. 
Ellis's theory would account for the facts. But, by his own 
showing, they were not. Some other explanation must therefore 
be sought. 

That which had originally occurred to myself, and to which 
lam still compelled to adhere, is that "the original bearer" 
of this quarterly coat was the central figure of this family 
group, Geoffrey de Mandeville himself. It being, as I have 
shown, absolutely clear that there must have been collateral 

^ Antiquities of Heraldry, p. 209. « j^^-^^ p 230. 

' Ibid., pp. 228-232. 


adoption, the only question that remains to be decided is from 
which of the two family stems, Mandeville or De Vere, was 
the coat adopted ? My first reason for selecting the former 
is that the first Earl of Essex was far and away, at the time, 
the greatest personage of the group. Aubrey de Vere figures, 
at Oxford, as his dependant rather than as his equal. On this 
ground, then, it seems to me far more probable that Aubrey 
should have adopted his arms from Geoffrey than that Geoffrey 
should have adopted his from Aubrey. The second reason is 
this. Science and analogy point to the fact that the simplest 
form of the coat is, of necessity, the most original. Now, the 
simplest form of this coat, its only " undifferenced " variety, 
is that borne by the Earls of Essex. We do not obtain recorded 
blazons till the reign of Henry III., but when we do, it is as 
" quartele de or & de goulez " that the coat of the Earl of 
Essex, the namesake of Geoffrey de Mandeville, first meets us.^ 
But all the descendants of De Vere, it would seem, bear this 
coat "differenced," that of De Vere itself being charged with a 
mullet in the first quarter, the tinctures also (perhaps for dis- 
tinction) being in this case reversed.^ Thus heraldry, as well 
as genealogy, favours the claim of Mandeville as the original 
bearer of the coat. 

It has been generally asserted in works on Heraldry that 
Geoffrey de Mandeville added an escarbuncle to his simple 
paternal coat, and that it is still to be seen on the shield of 
his effigy among the monuments at the Temple Church. But 
antiquaries have now abandoned the belief that this is indeed 
his Q^Si^j., and the original statement is taken only from that 
Chronicle of Walden which is in error in its statements on his 
foundation, on his creation, on his marriage, and on his death. 
Nor is there a trace of such a charge on the shields of any of 
his heirs.^ 

But the consequences of the theory here laid down have yet 
to be considered. A little thought will soon show that no 

* Doyle's Official Baronage, i. 685. 

^ I must certainly decline to accept the rash conjecture of Mr. Ellis that 
the mullet of De Vere represents the chamberlainship, on the ground that one 
of his predecessors, Robert Malet, might have borne a mullet as an " heraldic 
and allusive cognizance." 

' See p. 226 w. 


"bvpothesis can possibly explain the adoption of the quarterly 
coat by these various families at any other period than this 
in which they all intermarried. If we wish to trace to its 
origin such a surname as Fitz- Walter, we must go back to 
some ancestor who had a Walter for his father. So with 
derivative coats-of-arms. By Mr. Ellis's fundamental principle 
we ought to find the house of De Vere imparting its coat, for 
successive generations, to those families who were privileged 
to ally themselves to it. Yet we can only trace this principle 
at work in this particular generation. If Mandeville, and 
Mandeville's kin, adopted, as he holds, the coat of De Vere, 
why should not De Vere, in the previous generation, have 
adopted that of Clare ? Xothing, in short, can account for 
the phenomena except the hypothesis that these quarterly coats 
all originated in this generation and in consequence of these 
intermarriages. The quarterly coat of the great earl would 
be adopted by his sister's husband De Say, and by his wife's 
brother De Vere, and by those other relatives shown in the 
pedigree. Once adopted they remain, till they meet us in the 
recorded blazons of the reign of Henry III. 

The natural inference from this conclusion is that the reign 
of Stephen was the period in which heraldic bearings were 
assuming a definite form. Most heralds Avonld place it later: 
Mr. Ellis would have us believe that we ought to place it 
earlier. The question has been long and keenly discussed, 
and, as with surnames, we may not be able to give with certainty 
the date at which they became generally fixed. But, at any 
rate, in this typical case, the facts admit of one explanation 
and of one alone. 

If, as I take it, heraldic coats were mainly intended (as at 
Evesham) to distinguish their bearers in the field, it is not 
improbable that these kindred coats may represent the alliance 
of their bearers, as typified in the Oxford charters, beneath 
the banner of the Earl of Essex.^ 

* Compare the case of Eaymond (le Gros) meeting "William fitz Aldelin. 
on hie landing in Ireland (December, 1176), at the head of thirty of his 
kinsmen, "clipeie assnmptis unius armaturse " (Expugnatio Hibernix). 

( 397 ) 



(See p. 180.) 

Separate treatment is demanded by that clause in the charter 
to Aubrey which deals with the fief of William of Arques : — 

"Et do et concede ei totam terram Willelmi de Albrincis sine placito, 
pro servicio suo, simul cum hsBreditate et jure quod clamat ex parte uxoris 
8U8B sicut unquam Willelmus de Archis ea melius tenuit." 

The descent of this barony has formed the subject of an 
erudite and instructive paper by the late Mr. Stapleton.^ The 
pedigree which he established may be thus expressed : — 

William = Beatrice, 
of Arques, 

(1) Nigel 
de Monville. 

= Emma, = 

heiress of 

her father's 





(de Abrincis), 

held part of the 

Arques fief 

jure uxoriSy 

Sheriff of Kent 


(2) Manasses, 

Comte of 


d. circ. 


= Matilda. Rose (or = Henry, 

ob. V. p. 

Castellan of 

son and heir. 

(1) ArBREY = Beatrice, = (2) Baldwin, 
DE Vere. sole heiress. Lord of 


This descent renders the above clause in the charter intelli- 
^ Archeeologia, vol. xxxi. pp. 216-237. 


gible at once, for it shows that Aubrey was to reunite the 
whole Arques fief in his own holding Jz^re uxoris. 

Mr. Stapleton, who pnnts the clause from the translation 
given bj Dugdale, justly pronounces it "extremely important, 
as establishing the fact of his marriage at its date with the 
heiress of the barony of Arques as well as of the comte of 
Guisnes." With Aubrey's tenure of this comte I have dealt 
at p. 188. 

( 399 ) 



(See p. 181.) 

The entries relating to the fief of this tenant in capite are 
probably as corrupt as any to be found in the Liber Niger. 

The name of the family being " de Raimes " — Latinized in 
this charter and Domesday invariably as de Bamis — an inevi- 
table confusion soon arose between it and the name of their 
chief seat in England, Rayne, co. Essex. Morant, in his history 
of Essex, identifies the two. Thus, Rayne being entered in 
Domesday and in the Liber Niger as " Raines," the name of 
the family appears in the latter as " de Raines," " de Reines " 
(i. 237), "de Ramis," "de Raimis," and " de Raimes " (i. 239, 
240). The Domesday tenant was Roger " de Ramis," who was 
succeeded by William " de Raimes," who was dead in 1130, 
when his sons Roger and Robert are found indebted to the 
Crown for their reliefs and for their father's debts (Hot. Pip., 
31 Hen. I.). Further, if the Liber Niger (i. 237, 239) is to 
be trusted, there were in 1135 two Essex fiefs, held respectively 
by these very sons, Roger and Robert " de Ramis." So far all is 
clear. But when we come to the cartse of 1166 all is hopeless 
confusion. There are, certainly, two fiefs entered in the Essex 
portion, but while the carta of that which is assigned to Robert 
" de Ramis " is intelligible, though very corrupt, the other is 
assigned by an amazing blunder to William fitz Miles, who was 
merely one of the under-tenants. Moreover, the entries are so 
similar that they might be easily taken for variants of the same 

Let us, however, now turn to the Pipe-Roll of 1159 (5 
Hen. II.). We there find these entries (p. 5) under Essex : — 

" Idem vicecomes reddit Compotum de xii I. et xni s. et iin d. pro Rogero 
de Ram'. 


"Idem vicecomes reddit Compotum de xii I. et xiiis. iiii d. pro Kicardo 
de Ram'." 

They require some explanation. The sums here accounted for 
(though it is not so stated) are payments towards "the great 
scutage " of the year at two marks on the knight's fee. These 
Avere in most cases paid collectively by the aggregate of knights 
liable. Here, luckily for us, these two tenants paid separately. 
Turning the payments into marcs, and then dividing by two, 
we find that each represents an assessment of nine and a half 
knights. Now, we know for certain from the Liher Niger 
(i. 240) that the assessment of one of these two fiefs was ten 
knights, and that its holder was entitled to deduct from that 
assessment an amount equivalent to half a knight. For such 
is the meaning in the language of the Exchequer of the phrase : 
" feodum dimidii militis . . . quod mihi computatur in x mili- 
tibus quos Regi debeo." Thus we obtain the exact amount 
(nine and a half knights) on which he pays in the above Roll.^ 

But we can go further still. Each of the two fiefs was 
entitled to the same deduction (Liber Niger). Both, therefore, 
must have been alike assessed at ten knights. We are now on 
the right track. These two fiefs in the Liber Niger are not 
identical but distinct ; they represent an original fief, assessed 
at twenty knights, which has been divided into two equal 
halves, each with an assessment of ten knights. And as with 
the whole fief, so with some of its component parts. Dedham, 
for instance, the " Delham " of Domesday (ii. 83) and the 
" Diham " of our charter, was held of the lord of the fief by 
the service of one knight. When the fief was divided in two, 
Dedham was divided too. Accordingly, we find it mentioned in 
our charter (1142) as " Diham que fuit Rogeri de Ramis, 
rectum . . . filiorwm Rogeri de Ramis." It was their joint 
right, because it was divided between them, just as it still 
appears divided, in the carfae of 1166.^ 

But further, why is Dedham alone mentioned in this charter ? 

^ This instance proves that payment was sometimes made on the net 
amount due, after maMiig such deduction, instead of being entered as paid 
in full, Nvith a subsequent entry of deduction. 

2 The forms *' Diham," " De Hiham," and " Heham " are very confusing 
from the fact that Higham also is on the border of Essex and Suftblk. 


Because it was that portion, of the fief which the Crown had 
seized and kept, and consequently that of which the restoration 
was now exacted from the Empress. And why had the Crown 
seized it ? Possibly as security for those very debts, which were 
due to it from Williaua " de Raimes " {Uot. Ptp., 31 Hen. I.).^ 

Dedham was not the only divided manor in the fief. 
" Totintuna," in Norfolk, was similarly shared, its one knight's 
fee being halved. This enables us to correct an error in the 
Itiher Niger. We there read (i. 237) — 

" Wariaus de Totioton' medietatem i militia." 

And again (i. 239) — 

" Warinus dim' mil'. 
De Todiaton' feodum dimidii militis." 

In the latter case the right reading is — • 

" Warinus de Todinton' dim' mil'. 
Feodum dimidii militis ^ de Hiham, quod," etc. 

Further, Robert " de Beines " is returned in both cartse as 
holding (1166) a quarter of a knight's fee in each fief, " de 
novo fefamento," apparently in Higham (Suffolk), not far from 
Dedham (Essex). This suggests his enfeofment by the service 
of half a knight, and the division of his holding when the fief 
was divided. It is strange that on the Roll of 1159 he is 
entered as paying one marc, which would be the exact amount 
payable for half a knight.^ 

Thus the main points have been satisfactorily established. 
The genealogy is not so easy. Our charter tells us that, in 
1142, the sons of Roger " de Ramis " were the " nepotes " of 
Earl Aubrey. From the earl's age at the time tbey could not 
be his grandsons : they were, therefore, his nephews, the sons 
of a sister. Were they the Richard and Roger who, in 1159, 
held respectively the two halves of the original fief {Rot. Pip., 
5 Hen. 11.) ? To answer this question, we must grasp the 

' Compare the remission by Henry II., in his charter to the second Earl 
of Essex, of the Crown's lien upon certain of his manors, dating from the time 
of Henry I. (see p. 241). 

2 The words which follow are on p. 240. 

* This has a direct bearing on the very difficult question of the assessment 
of tlie new feoffment. 



data clearly. In 1130 and in 11 35 the two fiefs were respec- 
tively held by Robert and Roger, the sons of William. In our 
charter (1142) we find them, it would seem, held by " the sons 
of Roger,'' probably of tender years. This would suggest that 
the Robert (son of William) of 1135 had died childless before 
1142, and that his fief had been reunited to that of his brother 
Roger, only, however, for the joint fief to be again divided 
between Roger's sons. But the question is further complicated 
by some documents relating to the church of Ardleigh, one of 
which is addressed by " Robertus de Ramis filius Rogeri de 
Ramis " to Robert [de Sigillo], Bishop of London, while another, 
addressed to the same bishop, proceeds from Robert son of 
TFtZZmm " de Ramis," apparently his uncle. In 1159 the two 
fiefs reappear as held respectively by Roger and Richard " de 
Ramis." In 1165 {Eot. Pip., 11 Hen. II.) we find them held 
by William and Richard de Ramis, and thenceforth they were 
always known as the fiefs of William and of Richard. The 
actual names of the holders of the fiefs in 1166 (one of which 
is ignored by the Black Book and the other given as Robert) 
are determined by the Pipe-Roll of 1168, where they are 
entered as William and Richard. Thus, at length, we ascertain 
that the carta assigned to William " filius Milonis " was in 
truth that of William " de Ramis," while that which is assigned 
to Robert " de Ramis " was in truth that of Richard " de 
Ramis." The entry on this Pipe-Roll relating to the latter 
fief throws so important a light on the Carta of 1166, that I 
here print the two side by side. 

[1166.] [1168.] 

Hii sunt milites qui tenuerunt de Eicardus de Reimis [al. Eaimes] 

feodo Robert! de Raimes die qua reddit compotum de x marcis pro x 

Rex Henricus fuit vivus et mortuus, militibus. In thesauro xxxiii sol. et 

viz.: — . . . Willelmus filius Jocelini iin den. Et in dominio Regis de 

II milites Philippus Parage feodum Dedbam i mar. Et debet nil li. et 

dim. militis. Horum servitium differ- vi sol. et vni den. sed calumpniatur 

ciant mihi "Willelmus filius Jocelini quod Picot de Tanie ^ habet ii milites 

et Philippus. Simon de Cantilupo per Regem, et Simo de Cantelu iios, 

detinet mihi Heingeham quam tenere et Comes Albricus dim., et Phylippus 

debeo de Rege in dominio meo. Parage dim. 

* Picot de Tani (1168) stood in the shoes of William fitz Jocelin (1166), 
having married his daughter Alice (Eotulua de Dominahus). 


If, as implied by our charter, the sons of Roger (" de 
Ramis ") were minors at the time of the Anarchy, this would 
account for Earl Hugh seizing, as recorded in William's carta, 
five of his knights' fees in the time of King Stephen {Liber 
Niger, i. 237). 

The later history of these two fiefs is one of some com- 
plexity, but the descent of Dedham, which alone concerns our 
own charter, is fortunately quite clear. Its two halves are well 
shown in the Testa de Nevill entry : — 

" Leonia de Stutevill tenet feodum unius militia in Byh[a]m unde debet 
facere unam medietatem heredi Ricardi de Reymes et alteram medietatem 
heredi Willelmi de Reymes " (i. 276). 

For this Byham, improbable as it may seem, was really the 
" Diham " of our charter, i.e. Dedham, and the two halves of 
the original barony are here described (as I explained above) 
as those of Richard and William. In a survey of Richard's 
portion of the fief among the inquisitions of John {circ. 1212),^ 
we find Leonia holding half a knight's fee in " Dyham " of it, 
and in a later inquisition we find her heir, John de Stuteville, 
holding the estate as " Dyhale " (Testa, p. 281 h). As early as 
1185-86 Leonia was already in possession of Dedham, as will 
be seen by the extract below from the Rotulus de Dominahus. 
This entry is one of a series which have formed the subject of 
keen, and even hot, discussion. The fact that Dedham is 
spoken of here as her " inheritance " has led to the hasty 
inference that she was heiress, or co-heiress, to the Raimes fief. 
This view seems to have been started by Mr. E. Chester Waters 
in a communication to Notes and Queries (1872),^ in which, on 
the strength of the entries below relating to her and to Alice 
de Tani, he drew out a pedigree deriving them both from the 
" Roger de Ramis of Domesday." Writing to the Academy in 
1885, he took great credit to himself for his performance in 
Notes and Queries, and observed, of Mr. Yeatman : " I must 
refer him to the Rotulus de Dominahus and to the Chartulaiy 
of Bocherville Abbey for the true co-heirs of the fief of 
Raimes."^ But the extracts which follow clearly show (when 
combined with the Testa entry above) that neither Leonia nor 

* Printed by Madox as from the Liber Feudorum. 

* 4th series, vol. ix. p. 314. ^ Academy, June 27, 1885. 

404 ROGER '' DE RAMIS:' 

Alice were tlie "true co-heirs of the fief of Raimes," for they 
were merely under-tenants of that fief, Leonia holding one 
knight's fee from the tenants of the whole fief, and Alice two 
knights' fees from the tenants of Richard's portion. 

(Lexden Hundred.) 

Uxor Robert! de Stuteville est de donatione Domini Regis, et de parentela 
Edwardi de Salesburia ex parte patris, et ex parte matris est de progenia 
Eogeri de Reimes. Ipsa liabet j villam que vocatur Diham que est hereditas 
ejus, que valet annuatim xxiiij libras. Ipsa habet j filium et ij filias, et 
nescitur eorum etas. 

(Tendring Hundred.) 

Alizia de Tany est de donatione Domini Regis; terra ejus valet vij 
libras, et ipsa liabet v filios et ij filias, et heres ejus est xx annorum, de 
progenia Rogeri de Reimes. 


Alicia filia Willelmi filii Godcelini quam tradidit Dominus Rex Picoto 
da Tani est in donatione Domini Regis, et tenet de Domino Rege, et de 
faodo Ricardi de Ramis ; et terra sua valet vij libras ; et ipsa habet v filios 
et primogenitus est xx annorum, et ij filias. Picot de Tani habuit dictam 
terram v anais elapsis, cum autumpnus venerit. 

Leonia is indeed stated to be " de progenia Eogeri de 
Reimes," and so is the heir of Alice {not^ as alleged, Alice 
herself), but there is nothing to show that this was the Roger 
de Raimes " of Domesday." It may have been his namesake 
(and grandson ?) of 1130-35, or even (though probably not) 
the Roger of 1159. Whether the allusion, in our charter (1142), 
to Dedham being the " rectum " of the sons of Roger de Ramis, 
and the fact of its being in the king's hands then and in 
1166-68, had to do with a claim by Leonia or her mother, or 
not, it is obvious that Leonia did not claim, nor did Alice de 
Tani, to be, in any sense, the heir of either of the above Rogers, 
though she may have been, as was the case so often with 
under-tenants, connected with them in blood. 

( 405 ) 



(See p. 198.) 

The dates and circumstances of these two visits are a subject 
of some importance and interest. Fortunately, they can be 
accurately ascertained. 

It is certain that, on Henry's first visit, he landed with 
his uncle at Wareham towards the close of 1142. Stephen had 
been besieging the Empress in Oxford since the 26th of 
September,^ and her brother, recalled to England by hei' 
danger, must have landed, with Henry, aboiit the beginning 
of December, for she had then been besieged more than two 
months, and Christmas was at hand.^ This date is confirmed 
by another calculation. For the earl, on landing, we are told, 
laid siege to the castle of Wareham, and took it, after three 
weeks.^ But as the flight of the Empress from Oxford coincided 
with, or followed immediately after, his capture of the castle,^ 
and as that flight took place on the eve of Christmas,^ after a 
siege of three months,^ this would similarly throw back the 
landing of the earl at Wareham to the beginning of December 

By a strange oversight, Dr. Stubbs, the supreme authority 
on his life, makes Henry arrive in 1141, " when he was eight 

* *' Tribus diebus ante festum sancti Michaelis inopinato casu Oxeneford 
concremavit, et castellum, in quo, cum domesticis militibus imperatrix erat 
obsedit" {Will Malms., 766). 

' " Consummatis itaque in obsidione plus duobus mensibus . . . appro- 
pinquante Nativitatis Dominicse solempnitate " {Gervase, i. 124). 

' " Fuitque comes Robertus in obsidione ilia per tres eeptimanas " {ibid.). 

* Ibid., i. 125 ; Will Malms., 768. 

5 " Non piocul a Natali" (Hen. Hunt, 276). 
« " Tribus mensibus " {Gesta, p. 89). 


years old, to be trained in arms ; " ^ whereas, as we have seen, 
he did not arrive till towards the end of 1142, when he was 
nine years and three-quarters old. Nor, it would seem, was 
there any intention that he should be then trained in arms. 
This point is here mentioned because it bears on the chronology 
of Gervase, as criticised by Dr. Stubbs, who, I venture to 
think, may have been thus led to pronounce it, as he does, 
" unsound." 

On recovering Wareham, Henry and his uncle set out for 
Cirencester, where the earl appointed a rendezvous of his party, 
with a view to an advance on Oxford. The Empress, however, 
in the mean time, unable to hold out any longer, effected her 
well-known romantic escape and fled to Wallingford, where 
those of her supporters who ought to have been with her 
when Stephen assailed her, had gathered round the stronghold 
of Brian fitz Count, having decided that their forces were not 
equal to raising the siege of Oxford.^ Thither, therefore, the 
earl now hastened with his charge, and the Empress, we are 
told, forgot all her troubles in the joy of the meeting with 
her son.^ 

Stephen had been as eager to relieve his beleaguered 
garrison at Wareham as the earl had been, at the same time, 
to raise the siege of Oxford. Neither of them, however, would 
attempt the task till he had finished the enterprise he had in 
hand.* But now that the fall of Oxford had set Stephen free, 
he determined, though Wareham had fallen, that he would at 
least regain possession.^ But the earl had profited, it seems, 
by his experience of the preceding year, and Stephen found 
the fortress was now too strong for him.^ He accordingly 
revenged himself for this disappointment by ravaging the 

^ Const. Hist^ i. 448 ; Early Plantagenets, p. 33. Mr. Freeman rightly 
assigns his arrival to 1142, as does also Mr. Kunir^Norman Britain). 
2 Will. Malms., p. 766. / 

^ Ibid. ; Gervase, i. 125. 

* Will. Malms., p. 768. Compare the state of things in 1153 (Hen, Hunt., 

* " Deinde [after obtaining possession of Oxford] pauco dilapso tempore, 
cum instructissima militautium manu civitatem Warham . . . advenit " 
(.Gesta, p. 91). 

« Ibid. 


district with fire and sword.^ Thus passed the earlier months 
of 1143. Eventually, with his brother, the Bishop of Win- 
chester, he marched to Wilton, where he proceeded to con- 
vert the nunnery of St. Etheldred into a fortified post, which 
should act as a check on the garrison of the Empress 
at Salisbury.^ The Earl of Gloucester, on hearing of this, 
burst upon his forces in the night, and scattered them in all 
directions. Stephen himself had a narrow escape, and the 
enemy made a prisoner of William Martel, his minister and 
faithful adherent.^ This event is dated by Gervase July 1 

I have been thus particular in dealing with this episode 
because, as Dr. Stubbs rightly observes, " the chronology of 
Gervase is here quite irreconcilable with that of Henry of 
Huntingdon, who places the capture of William Martel in 
1142." ^ But a careful collation of Gervase's narrative with that 
given in the Qesta removes all doubt as to the date, for it is 
certain, from the sequence of events in 1142, that at no period 
of that year can Stephen and the Earl of Gloucester have been 
in Wiltshire at the same time. There is, therefore, no question 
that the two detailed narratives I have referred to are right in 
assigning the event to 1143, and that Henry of Huntingdon, 
who only mentions it briefly, has placed it under a wrong date, 
having doubtless confused the two attacks (1142 and 1143) that 
Stephen made on Wareham.^ 

Henry, says Gervase (i. 131), now spent four years in 
England, during which he remained at Bristol under the wing 
of his mighty uncle, by whom his education was entrusted to 
a certain Master Mathew.® A curious reference by Henry him- 
self to this period of his life will be found in the Monasticon 

' Gesta; Gervase, i. 125. * Gesta, p. 91. 

3 Gervase, i. 126 ; Gesta, p. 92. 

* Gervase, 1. 126, note. 

^ This episode also gave rise to another even stranger confusion, a mis- 
reading of " Winton " for " WiZton " having led Milner and others to suppose 
that Stephen was the founder of the royal castle at Winchester. 

^ "Puer autem Heiiricus sub tutela comitis Roberti apud Bristoviam 
degens, per quatuor annos traditus est magisterio cujusdam Mathsei litteris 
imbuendus et moribus honestis ut talem decebat puerum instituendus " 
(i. 125). 


(vol. vi.), where, in a charter (? 1153) to St. Augustine's. 
Bristol, he refers to that abbey as one 

" qnam inicio juventutis mess beneficiis et protectioue ccepi juvare et 

It should be noticed that Gervase twice refers to Henry's 
stay as one of four years (i. 125, 133), and that this statement 
is strictly in harmony with those by which it is succeeded. 
Dr. Stubbs admits that Henry's departure is placed by him " at 
the end of 1146," ^ and this would be exactly four years from 
the date when, as we saw, he landed. Again, Gervase goes on 
to state that two years and four months elapsed before his 
return.^ This would bring us to April, 1149 ; and " here," as 
Dr. Stubbs observes, " we get a certain date," for " Henry was 
certainly knighted at Carlisle at Whitsuntide [May 22], 
1149."^ It will be seen then that the chronology of Gervase 
is thoroughly consistent throughout.* When Dr. Stubbs 
writes : " Gervase's chronology is evidently unsound here, but 
the sequence of events is really obscure,"^ he alludes to the 
mention of the Earl of Gloucester's death. But it will be 
found, on reference to the passage, that its meaning is quite 
clear, namely, that the earl died during Henry's absence 
{interea), and in the November after his departure. And such 
was, admittedly, the case. 

The second visit of Henry to England has scarcely obtained 
the attention it deserved. It was fully intended, I believe, at 
the time, that his arrival should give the signal for a renewal 
of the civil war. This is, by Gervase (i. 140), distinctly 
implied. He also tells us that it was now that Henry abandoned 
his studies to devote himself to arms.^ It would seem, how- 
ever, to be generally supposed that the sole incident of this 

^ i. 140, note. 

^ " Fuitque in partibus transmarinis annis duobus et mensibus quatuor " 
(i. 131). 

' i. 140, note. 

* The only point, and that a small one, that could be challenged, is that 
Gervase makes him land " mense Maio mediante," whereas we know him to 
have been at De^dzes by the 13th of April {vide infra). 

• i. 131, note. 

^ " Postpositisque litterarum studiis exercitia coepit militaria frequen- 


visit was his receiving knighthood from his great-uncle, the 
King of Scots, at Carlisle. But it is at Devizes that he first 
appears, charter evidence informing us of the fact that he was 
there, surrounded by some leading partisans, on April 13.^ 
Again, it has, apparently, escaped notice that the author of the 
Gesta, at some length, refers to this second visit (pp. 127-129). 
His editor, at least, supposed him to be referring to Henry's 
first (1142) and third (1153) visits; these, in that gentleman's 
opinion, being evidently one and the same.^ According to 
the Gesta, Henry began by attacking the royal garrisons in 
Cricklade and Bourton, which would harmonize, it will be seen, 
exactly with a northerly advance from Devizes. He was, how- 
ever, unsuccessful in these attempts. Among those who joined 
him, says Gervase, were the Earls of Hereford and of Chester. 
The former duly appears with him at Devizes in the charter to 
which I have referred ; the latter is mentioned by John of 
Hexham as being present with him at Carlisle.^ This brings 
us to the strange story, told by the author of the Gesta, that 
Henry, before long, deserted by his friends, was forced to appeal 
to Stephen for supplies. There is this much to be said in 
favour of the story, namely, that the Earl of Chester did play 
him false. ^ Moreover, the Earl of Gloucester, who is said to 
have refused to help hioi,^ certainly does not appear as taking 

^ Sarum Charters mid Documents (Eolls Series), pp. 15, 16. The 
witnesses are Roger, Earl of Hereford, Patrick, Earl of Salisbury, John fitz 
Gilbert (the marshal), Gotso " Dinaiit," William de Beauchamp, Elyas 
Giffard, Roger de Berkeley, Jolm de St. John, etc. 

2 See his note to p. 127. Since the above passage was written, Mr. How- 
lett's valuable edition of the Gesta for the Rolls Series has been published, in 
which he advances, with great confidence, the view that we are indebted to 
its " careful author " for the knowledge of an invasion of England by Henry 
fitz Empress in 1147, "unrecorded by any other chronicler" (Chronicles: 
Stephen, Henry 11., Richard J.. III., xvi.-xx. 130 ; IV., xxi., xxii.) I have dis- 
cussed and rejected this theory in the English Historical Review, October, 
1890 (v. 747-750). 

' Syrti. Dun., iii. 323. Henry of Huntingdon (p. 282) states that at 
Carlisle he appeared "cum occidentalibus Anglise proceribus," and that 
Stephen, fearing his contemplated joint attack with David, marched to York, 
and remained there, on the watch, during all the month of August. 

* " Ranulfus comes promisit cum collectis agminibus suis occurrere illis. 
Qui, nichil eorum quae condixerat prosecutus, avertit propositum eorum " 
{Sym. Dun., ii. 323). 

* The author of the Gesta^ by a pardonable slip, speaks of the earl as 


any steps on Ms bebalf. Lastly, it is not impossible that 
Stephen, whose generosity, in thus acting, is so highly extolled 
by the writer, may have taken advantage of Henry's trouble, 
to send him supplies on the condition that he should abandon 
his enterprise and depart. It is, in any case, certain that he 
did depart at the commencement of the following year (1150).^ 

Henry's uncle. The then (1149) earl was, of course, his cousin. It is on 
this slip that Mr. Howlett's theory was based. 

' "Henricus autem filius Gaufridi comitis Andegaviae ducisque Nor- 
manniae, et Matildis imperatricis, jam miles eflfectus, in Normanniam trans- 
fretavit in principio mensis Januarii" {Gervase, i. 142). 

( 411 ) 



(See p. 209.) * 

A MOST interesting and instructive series of papal letters is 
preserved in the valuable Cotton MS. known as Tiberius, A. vi. 
The earliest with which we are here concerned are those referred 
to in the Historia EUensis as obtained by Alexander and his 
fellows, the " nuncii " of Nigel to the pope, in virtue of which 
the bishop regained his see in 1142 (ante, p. 162).^ These 
letters are dated April 29. As the bishop was driven from the 
see early in 1140, the year to which they belong is not, at first 
sight, obvious. The Historia indeed appears to place them just 
before his return, but its narrative is not so clear as could be 
wished, nor would it imply that the bishop returned so late as 
May (1142). The sequence of events I take to have been this. 
Nigel, when ejected from his see (1140), fled to the Empress at 
Gloucester. There he remained till her triumph in the follow- 
ing year (1141). He would then, of course, regain his see, 
and this would account for his knights being found in posses- 
sion of the isle when Stephen recovered his throne. The king, 
eager to reassert his rights and to avoid another fenland revolt, 
would send the two earls to Ely (1142) to regain possession of 
its strongholds. The bishop, now once more an exile, and 
despairing of Maud's fortunes, would turn for help to the 
pope, and obtain from him these letters commanding his 
restoration to his see. I should therefore assign them to 
April 29, 1142. This would account for the expression "per 

* " Et negotium strenuissime agentes, acceperunt ab excellentia Romanae 
dignitatis ad Archiepiscopum et episcopos Anglige et ad Rothomagensem 
Archiepiscopiim literas de restituendo Nigello episcopo in sedem suam " 
{Hist EliensiSy p. 621). 


louga tempora " in the letter to Stephen. They could not 
belong to 1141, when the Empress was in power, and the above 
expression wonld not be applicable in the year 1140. 

The following is the gist of the letter to Stephen : — 

" Serenitati tue rogando mandamus quatinus dignitates et libertates. . . . 
"Venerabili quoque fratri nostro Nigello eiusdem loci episcopo in recuperandis 
possessionibus ecclesie sue injuste distractis consilium et auxilium prebeas. 
Nee pro eo quod ecclesia ipsa sua bona jam per longa tempora perdidit, 
justitie sue earn sustinere aliquod preiuditium patiaris " (fol. 114). 

To his brother, the Bishop of Winchester, Innocent writes 
thus : — 

" Rogando mandamus et mandando precipimus quatinus sententiam 
quam venerabilis frater noster Nigellus Elyensis episcopus in eos qui posses- 
siones ecclesie sue iniuste et per violentiam detinent rationabiliter promul- 
gavit firmiter observetis et observari per vestraa parrochias pariter faci- 
atis" (fol. 113 fe). 

A letter (also from the Lateran) of the same date to Nigel 
himself excuses his presence and that of the Abbot of Thorney 
at a council. A subsequent letter (" data trans Tyberim ") of 
the 5th of October, addressed to Theobald and the English 
bishops, deals with the expulsion and restitution of Nigel, and 
insists on his full restoration. 

The next series of letters are from Pope Lucius, and belong 
to May 21, 1144, being writt-en on the occasion of Nigel's visit 
(ante, p. 208). Of these there are five in all. To Stephen 
Lucius writes as follows : — 

" Venerabilis frater noster Nigellus Elyensis episcopus quamvisquibusdam 
criminibus in presentia nostra notatus fuerit, nee tamen convictus neque 
confessus est. Unde nos ipsum cum gratia nostra ad sedem propriam 
remittentes nobilitati tue mandamus ut eum pro beati Petri et nustm 
reverentia bonores, diligas, nee ipse sibi vel ecclesie sue iniuriam vel 
molestiam inferas nee ab aliis inferii permittas. Si qua etiam . . . ab 
hominibus tuis ei ablata sunt cum integritate restitui facias" (fol. 117). 

The above " crimina " are those referred to in the Historia 
Eliensis as brought forward at the Council of London in 114.3 : — 

"Quidam magni autoritatis et prudentisB visi adversus Domiuum Xigellum 
Episcopum parati insurrexerunt : illura ante Domini PapaB prjesentiara 
appellaverunt, sinistra ei objicientes plurima, maxime quod seditiones in 
ipso concitaverat regno, et bona Ecclesie sue in milites dissipaverat ; aliaque 
ei convicia blasphemantes improperabant " (p. 622). 


A second letter of the same date "Ad clerum elyenseni 
de condempnatione Symonie Vitalis presbyteri " deals with the 
case of Vitalis, a priest in Nigel's diocese, who had been sen- 
tenced to deprivation of his living, for simony, and whose 
appeal to the Council of London in 1143 had been favourably 
received by the legate.^ The pope had himself reheard the case, 
and now confirmed Nigel's decision : — 

"Dilectis filiis Rodberto Abbati Thorneie et capitulo elyensi salutem 
etc. Notum vobis fieri quia iuditium super causa, videUcet symonia, Vitalis 
presbyteri in synodo elyensi habitum in nostra presentia discussum est et 
retractatum. Quod nos rationabile cognoscentes apostolice sedis auctoritate 
firmavimus," etc., etc. (fol. 117). 

Then come two letters, also of the same date, one to 
Theobald and the English bishops, the other to the Archbishop 
of Rouen, both to the same effect, beginning, " Yenerabilis 
frater noster Nigellus elyensis episcopus ad sedem apostolicam 
veniens, nobis conquestus est quod," etc. (fol. 116 6) : ^ the fifth 
document of the 24th of May (1144) is a general confirmation 
to Ely of all its privileges and possessions (fols. 114 6-116 6). 

Last of all is the letter referring to Geoffrey de Mandeville, 
which must, from internal evidence, have been written in reply 
to a letter from Nigel after his return to England (ante, p. 215). 

' " Presbyter quidam Vitalis nomine conquestus est coram omnibus quod 
Dominus Elyensis episcopus eum non judiciali ordine de sua EcclesiS, 
expulerit. Huic per omnia ille Legatus favebat " (Hist. EliensiSf p. 622). 

2 See ante, p. 215, for Nigel's complaint. 

( 414 ) 



(See p. 215.) 

The mention of " tenseriae " in the letter of Lucius is peculiarly 
welcome, because (in its Norman-French form) it is the very 
word employed by the Peterborough chronicler.^ As I have 
pointed out in the Academy,^ the same Latin form is found in 
the agenda of the judicial iter in 1194: " de prisis et tenseriis 
omnium ballivorum " (B. Hoveden^ iii. 267), while the Anglo- 
Norman "tenserie" is employed by Jordan Fantosme, who. 
writing of the burgesses of Northampton (1174), tells us that 
David of Scotland " ne pot tenserie de eus aver." He also 
illustrates the use of the verb when he describes how the Earl 
of Leicester, landing in East Anglia, " la terre vait tensant. . . . 
E ad tense la terre cum il en fat bailli." The Latin form of 
the verb was " tensare," as is shown by the records of the 
Lincolnshire eyre in 1202 (Maitland's Select Pleas of the Crown, 
p. 19), where it is used of extorting toll from vessels as they 
traversed the marshes. A reference to the closing portion of 
the Lincolnshire survey in Domesday will show the very same 
offence presented by the jurors of 1086. 

To the same number of the Academy, Mr. Paget Toynbee 
contributed a letter quoting some examples from Ducange of 
the use of tenseria, one of them taken from the Council of 
London in 1151 : " Sancimus igitur ut Ecclesias et possessiones 
ecclesiasticse ab operationibus et exactionibus, quas vulgo 

^ "Hi Iseiden gaeildes on the tunes . . . and clepeden it tenserie^' (ed. 
Thorpe, i. 382). Mr. Thorpe, the Rolls Series editor, took upon himself to 
alter the word to censerie. 

2 Xo. 1001, p. 37 (July 11, 1891). 


tenserias sive tallagia vocant, omnino libersB permaneant, nee 
super his eas aliqui de caetero inquietare preesumant." The 
other is taken from the Council of Tours ^ (1163), and is 
specially valuable because, I think, it explains how the word 
acquired its meaning. The difficulty is to deduce the sense of 
" robbery" from a verb which originally meant "to protect" or 
" to defend," but this difficulty is beautifully explained by our 
own word " blackmail," which similarly meant money extorted 
under pretence of protection or defence. The " defensio " of 
the Tours Council supports this explanation, as does the curious 
story told by the monks of Abingdon,^ that during the Anarchy 
under Stephen — 

"Willelmus Boterel constabularius de Wallingford, pecunia accepta a 
domno Ingulfo abbate, res ecclesise Abbendonensis a suo exercitu se defen- 
surum promislt. Sponsionis ergo suae immemor, in villam Culeham, quae huic 
csBnobio adjacet, quicquid invenire potuit, deprsedavit. Quo audito, abbas 
. , . admirans quomodo quod tueri deberet, fure nequior diripuisset " etc. 

William died excommunicate for this, but his brother Peter 
made some slight compensation later. ^ It was not unusual for 
conscience or the Church to extort more or less restitution for 
lawless conduct, as, indeed, in the case of Geoffrey de Mande- 
ville and his son. So, too. Earl Ferrers made a grant to Burton 
Abbey " propter dampna a me et meis Ecclesise predictae illata " 
(cf. p. 276, n. 3), previous to going on pilgrimage to S. Jago de 
Compostella — an early instance of a pilgrimage thither.* 

While on this subject, it may be as well to add that the 
grant by Robert, Earl of Leicester, to the see of Lincoln in 
restitution for wrongs,^ may very possibly refer to his alleged 

' " De Caemeteriis et Ecclesiis, sive qulbuslibet possessionibus ecclesiasticis 
tenserias dari prohibemus, ne pro Ecclesise vel csemeterii defensione fidei 
sui Clerici sponsiouem interpouant." Compare the passage from the Chronicle 
of Eamsey, p. 218 n., ante. 

^ Abingdon Cartulary, ii. 231. 

' William and Peter Boterel were related to Brian Fitz Count (of 
Wallingford) through his father. They both attest a charter of his wife, 
Matilda " de Wallingford," to Oakburn Priory. 

* Burton Cartulary, p. 50. A pilgrimage to this shrine is alluded to in 
a charter (of this reign) by the Earl of Chester to his brother the Earl of 
Lincoln, "in eodem anno quo ipsemet . . . redivit de itinere S. Jacobi 

^ " Robertus Comes Leg' Radulfo vicecomiti. Sciatis me pro satisfactione, 

41 6 ''tenserie:' 

share in the arrest of the bishops (1139), and so confirm the 
statement of Ordericus Vitalis.^ 

The complaint of the same English Chronicle that the law- 
less barons " cruelly oppressed the wretched men of the land 
Tvith castle works " is curiously confirmed by a letter from 
Pope Eugenius to four of the prelates, July 23, 1147 : — 

" Religiosorum fratrum Abbendonife gravera querelam accepimus quod 
Willelmus Martel, Hugo de Bolebec, Willelmus de Bellocampo, Johannes 
Marescallus, et eorum homines, et plures etiam alii parochiani vestri, posses- 
siones eorum violenter invadunt, et bona ipsorum rapiunt et distrahunt et 
iniehitas castellorum operationes ah eis exigunt.''^ ^ 

With characteristic agreement upon this point, William 
Martel, who served the king, John the marshal, who followed 
the Empress, and William de Beaucharap, who had joined both, 
were at one in the evil work. 

ac dampnorum per me seu per meas Ecclesiss Lincoln' Episcopo illatorum 
restitutione, dedisse . . . prsefatse Ecclesiae Lincolnensi et Alexandro 
Episcopo," etc. (Itemigius' Register Sit Lincoln, p. 37). 

^ See his life by me in Dictionary of National Biography. 

^ Cartulary of Abingdon, ii. 200, 543. 

( 417 ) 



(See p. 234.) 

This instrument, which is referred to in the text, belongs to 
the Devizes series of the charters granted by the Empress, and 
is enrolled among some deeds relating to the baronial family 
of Basset/ As every charter of the Empress is of interest, while 
this one possesses special features, it is here given in extenso : — 

M. Imperatrix Henrici Regis filia et Anglorum Domina, 
et H. filius Ducis Normannorum, Arcbiep. Epis. Abb. Comit. 
Baron. Justic. Yicecom. Minist. et omnibus fidelibus snis 
Francis et Anglis tocius Anglie et Normannie salutem. Sciatis 
me reddidisse et concessisse Galfrido Ridel filio Ricardi Basset 
totam hereditatem suam et omnia recta sua ubicnnqne ea 
ratione poteret ostendere sive in Normannia sive in Anglia 
et totam terram quam pater eius Ricardus Basset habnit et 
tennit jure hereditario de Rege Henrico, vel de qnocunque 
tenuisset, in Normannia sive in Anglia, ad tenendum in feodo 
et hereditate. Et totam terram Galfridi Ridel avi sui quam- 
cunque habuit et tennit jure hereditario. In Anglia sive in 
Normannia de Rege Henrico, vel de quocunque tenuisset, ad 
tenendum in feudo et hereditate sibi et heredibus suis de nobis 
et heredibus nostris. Quare volumus et firmiter precipimus 
quod bene et in pace et quiete et honorifice teneat in bosco et 
aquis et in viis et semitis in pratis et yasturis in omnibus locis 
cum soch et sache cum tol et them et infangefethef et cum 
omnibus consnetudinibus et quietudinibus et libertatibus cum 
quibus antecessores eius tenuerunt. T[estibiis]. Cancellario 
et Roberto Comite Glovernie et Galfrido Comite Essex et 

^ Sloane, xxxi. 4 (No. 48). 

2 E 


Roberto filio Reg[is] et Walchelino Maminot [et] Rogero filio 
{sic) Apud Dims[as]. 

The charter with which this one ought to be closely com- 
pared is that granted, also at Devizes, to Hnmfrey de Bohun, 
early in 1144.^ These two are the only instances I have yet 
met with oi joint charters from the Empress and her son. l£ 
may not be unjustifiable to infer that Henry was henceforth 
included as a partner in his mother's charters. If so, it would 
follow that her charters in which he is not mentioned are 
probably of earlier date.^ The second point suggested by 
a comparison of these charters is that here Henry figures as 
the son of the Duke of the Normans, while in the other 
document he is merely son of the Count of the Angevins. 
This is at once explained by the fact that her husband had now 
won his promotion (1144) from Count of the Angevins to Duke 
of the Normans, an explanation which confirms my remarks on 
the charter to Humfrey de Bohun. ^ Thus this charter to 
Geoffrey Eidel must be later than the spring of 1144, while 
anterior to Henry's departure about the end of 1146. As the 
(Coucher) charter to Greoffrey de Mandeville (junior) is attested 
by Humfrey as " Dapifer," that, also, may be placed subsequent 
to Humfrey 's own. Again, in the charter here printed, we 
have proof that Richard Basset was dead at the time of its 
grant, if not before. There has been hitherto no clue as to the 
time of his decease, though Foss makes him die, by a strange 
confusion, in 1154. Nor is it unimportant to observe that the 
Bassets and Ridels were typical members of that official class 
which Henry I. had fostered, and which appears to have 
strongly favoured his daughter's cause. Lastly, in the re-grant 
of this charter, by Duke Henry at Wallingford (1153), we have 

^ See my Ancient CJiarters (Pipe-Roll Society), pp. 45-47. There are two 
Devizes charters of the Empress, besides this one, not included in Mr. Birch's 
collection, namely, her grant of Aston (by the Wrekin) to Shrewsbury Abbey, 
and her general confirmation to that house. They are both attested by Earl 
Reginald, William fitz Alan, Robert de Dunstanville, and " Goceas " de 
Dinan, but are later than 1141, to which date Mr. Eyton and others assign 

' In the second charter of the Empress to Geoffrey de Mandeville the 
elder (1142) we have the first sign of a desire to secure her son's adhesion. 

' Ancient Charters, p. 47. 


a valuable illustration of his practice in ignoring his mother's 
charters, even when sanctioned by himself in his youth. For, 
although the terms of the instrument are reproduced with 
exactitude, the grant is made de novo, without reference to any 
former charter.^ 

^ Sloane, xxxi. 4, The -witnesses are Raadulf Earl of Chester, Reginald 
Earl of Cornwall, William Earl of Gloucester, the Earl of Hereford, Richard 
de Humez (" duhumesco "), constable, Philip de Oolumbers, Ralph Basset, 
Ralph " Walensis," Hugh de " Hamslep." 

{ 420 ) 



One of the problems in English history as yet, it would seem, 
unsolved, is that of the date at which Henry I. conferred on his 
natural son Robert the earldom of Gloucester. The great part 
which Robert played in the eventful struggles of his time, the 
fact that this was, in all probability, almost the only earldom 
created in the course of this reign (1100-1135), and the import- 
ance of ascertaining the date of its creation as fixing that of 
many an otherwise doubtful record, all combine to cause surprise 
that the problem remains unsolved. 

Brooke wi^ote that the earldom of Gloucester was conferred 
on Robert "in the eleventh year of his father's reign," and 
his critic, the argus-eyed Vincent, in his Discoverie of Errours, 
did not question the statement. As to Dugdale, he evaded the 
problem. Ignorance on the point is frankly confessed in the 
Reports on the Dignity of a Peer ; while Mr. Freeman, so far 
as I can find» has also deemed discretion the better part of 

Three dates, however, have been suggested for this creation. 

The first is 1109. This may be traced to Sandford (1707) 
and Rapin (1724), who took it from the rhyming chronicle 
assigned to Robert of Gloucester : — 

" And of the kynges crownement in the [ninthe] ^ yere, 
The vorst Erie of Gloueestre thus was mayd there." 

This date was revived by Courthope in his well-known 
edition (1857) of the Historic Peerage of Sir Harris Nicolas (by 
whom no date had been assigned to the creation). It may be 
said, by inference, to have received the sanction of the 
authorities at the British Museum. 

' This, the important word, is unfortunately doubtful.] 


The second is 1119. This suspiciously resembles an adapta- 
tion of the preceding, date, but may have been suggested, and 
in the case of Mr. Clark {vide infra) probably was, by reading 
Dugdale wrong.^ It seems to have first appeared in a foot- 
note to William of Malmesbury (1840), as edited for the 
English Historical Society by the late Sir Thomas Duffus 
(then Mr.) Hardy. It is there stated that Robert " was 
created Earl of Gloucester in 1119" (vol. ii. p. 692). ISTo 
authority whatever is given for this statement, bat the same 
date is adopted by Mr. Clark (1878), who asserts that " Robert 
certainly bore it [the title] 1119, 20th Henry I." {Arch. Journ., 
XXXV. 5) ; by Mr. Doyle (1886) in his valuable Official Baronage 
(ii. 9) ; and lastly (1887) by Mr. Hunt in his Bristol (p. 17). 
In none of these cases, however, is the source of the statement 

In the mean while, a third date, viz. shortly before Easter 
(April 2), 1116, was advanced with much assurance. In his 
essay on the Survey of Lindsey (1882), Mr. Chester Waters 
wrote : 

" We know that the earldom was conferred on him before Easter, 1116, 
for he attested as earl the royal charter in favour of Tewkesbury Abbey, 
which was executed at Winchester on the eve of the king's embarkation for 
Normandy " (p. 3). 

The date attributed to this charter having aroused the 
curiosity of antiquaries, the somewhat singular discovery was 
made that it could also be found in the MSS. of Mr. Eyton, 
then lately deceased.^ For the time, however, Mr. Waters 
enjoyed the credit of having solved an ancient problem, and 
"the ennobling of Robert fitz Roy in 1116" was accepted by 
no less an authority than Mr. Elton.* 

I propose to show that these three dates are all alike 
erroneous, and that the Tewkesbury charter is spurious. 

^ " He was advanced to the earldom of Gloucester by the king (his father). 
After which, in Anno 1119 (20 Hen. I.), he attended him in that famous 
battle at Brennevill," etc., etc. {Baronage, i. 534). 

2 A paper on the earldom was read by the late Mr. J. G. Nichols, at the 
Gloucester Congress of the Institute (1851), but I do not find that it was ever 
printed, so that I cannot give the date which he assigned. 

' Athenxum, May 9 and June 27, 1885. 

* Academy, September 29, 1883 (p. 207). 


Let us first observe that there is no evidence for the belief 
that Robert received his earldom at the time of his marriage to 
the heiress of Robert fitz Hamon. There is, on the contrary, a 
probability that he did not. I do not insist On the Tewkesbury 
charter {Mon. Aug., ii. 66), in which the king speaks of the 
demesne of Robert fitz Hamon as being now " Dominium 
Roberti filii mei," for we have more direct evidence in a 
charter of Robert to the church of Rochester, in which he con- 
firmed the gifts made by his wife and father, not as Robert 
Earl of Gloucester, but merely as "Ego Rodbertus Henrici 
Regis filius." 

We must further dismiss late authorities, in which, as we 
might expect, we find a tendency to throw back the creation of 
a title to an early period of the grantee's life. We cannot 
accept as valid evidence the rhymes of Robert of Gloucester 
(circa 1300), the confusion of later writers, or the assumptions 
of the fourteenth-century Chronicque de Normandie, in which last 
work Robert is represented as already "Earl of Gloucester " at 
the battle of Tinchebrai (1106). 

The only chronicle that we can safely consult is that of the 
Continuator of William of Jumieges, and this, unfortunately, 
tells us nothing as to the date of the creation, which, however, 
it seems to place some time after the marriage. It is worth 
mentioning that the writer's words — 

" Praeterea, quia parum erat filium Regis ingentia praedia possidere absque 
nomine et honore alicujus publicae dignitatis, dedit illi pater pius comitatum 
Gloecestre " (Lib. viii. cap. 29, ed. Duchesne, p. 306). 

are suspiciously suggestive of Robert of Gloucester's famous 
story that Robert's bride refused to marry him "bote he adde 
an tuo name." It would be very satisfactory if we could thus 
trace the story to its source, the more so as the chronicle is not 
among those from which Robert is supposed to have drawn. 

We are, therefore, left dependent on the evidence of charters 
alone. That is to say, we must look to the styles given to 
Robert the king's son, to learn when he first became Earl of 

His earliest attestation is, to all appearance, that which 
occurs in a charter of 1113. This charter is printed in the 
appendix to the edition of Ordericus Yitalis by the Societe de 


I'Histoire de France/ and as all the circumstances connected 
with its grant, together with the names of the chief witnesses, 
are given by Ordericus in the body of his work,'^ there cannot 
be the slightest doubt, or even hesitation, as to its date.^ In 
the text he is styled " Rodbertus regis filius," and in the 
charter " Rodbertus filius regis," his name being given, it 
should be noticed, last but one. The next attestation, in order, 
it would seem, is found in a writ of Henry I. tested at Reading, 
some time before Easter, 1116, to judge from the presence of 
" Rannulfus Meschinus."^ For Randulf became Earl of Chester 
by the death of his cousin Richard, when returning to England 
with the king in November, 1120.^ 

We next find Robert in Normandy with his father. He 
there attests a charter to Savigny, his name (" Robertus filius 
regis ") coming immediately after those of the earls (in this 
case Stephen, Count of Mortain, and Richard, Earl of Chester), 
that being the position in which, till his creation, it henceforth 
always figures. This charter passed in 1118, probably in the 
autumn of the year.^ Robert's next appearance is at the battle 
of Bremule (or Noyon), August 20, 1119. Ordericus refers to 
his presence thus ; — 

" Ibi fuerunt duo filii ejus Eodbertus et Ricardus, milites egregii, et tree 
consules," etc., etc. (iv. 357). 

This is certainly opposed to the view that Robert was already 
an earl, for he is carefully distinguished from the three earls 
(" tres consules ") who were present, and is classed with his 
brother Richard, who never became an earl. We must assign 
to about the same date the confirmation charter of Colchester 
Abbey, which is known to us only from the unpublished 

1 V. 199. ' iv. 302. 

' The king promised the charter on the occasion of his visit (February 3, 
1113), and when it had been drawn up, it received liis formal approval at 
Rouen " Anno quo comes Andegavensis mecum pacem fecit et Cenomanniam 
de me, me us homo factus, recepit." 

* Abingdon Cartulary, ii. 77. 

* Henry remained abroad between the above dates. 

« Gallia Christiana, xi. (Instrumenta), pp. 111-112. The charter is 
there assigned, but without any reason being given, to 1 118. A collation, how- 
ever, of this record with the names given by Ordericus Vitalis (iv. 329) of 
those present at the Council of Rouen, October 7, 1118, makes it all but certain 
that it passed on that occasion. 


cartulary now in the possession of Lord Cowper. Robert's 
name here conies immediately after those of the earls, and his 
style is " Robertus filius henrici regis Anglornm." 

This charter suggests a very important question. That its 
form, in the cartulary, is that in which it was originally 
granted we may confidently deny. At the same time, the 
circumstances by which its grant was accompanied are told 
by the monks in great detail and in the form of a separate 
narrative. Indeed, on that narrative is based the belief, so 
dear to Mr. Freeman's heart, that Henry I. was, more or 
less, familiar with the English tongue. Moreover, it is sug- 
gested by internal evidence that the charter, as we have it, 
is based on an originally genuine record. Now, the accepted 
practice is to class charters as genuine, doubtful, or spurious, 
"doubtful" meaning only that they are either genuine or 
spurious, but that it is not quite certain to which of these 
classes they belong. For my part I see no reason why there 
should not be an indefinite number of stages between an 
absolutely genuine record and one that is a sheer forgery. It 
was often, whether truly or falsely, alleged (we may have our 
own suspicions) that the charter originally granted had been 
lost, stolen, or burnt. In the case of this particular charter, 
its predecessor was said to have been lost ; at Leicester, a riot 
was made accountable ; at Carlisle a fire. In these last two 
cases, those who were affected were allowed to depose to the 
tenor of the lost charter. In the case of that which we are now 
considering, I have recorded in another place ^ my belief that 
the story was probably a plot of the monks anxious to secure 
an enlarged charter. Of course, where a charter was really 
lost, and it was thought necessary to supply its place either by 
a pseudo-original document, or merely in a cartulary, deliberate 
invention was the only resource. But, in such cases, it was 
almost certain that, in the days when the means of historical 
information were, compared with our own, non-existent, the 
forger would betray himself at once by the names in his list of 
witnesses. There was, however, as I imagine, another class 
of forcred charters. This comprised those cases in which the 
original had not been lost, but in which it was desired to 

^ Academy, No. 645. 


substitute for that original a charter with more extensive 
grants. Here the genuine list of witnesses might, of course, be 
copied, and with ' a little skill the interpolations or alterations 
might be so made as to render detection difficult, if not 
impossible. I speak, of course, of a cartulary transcript ; in 
an actual charter, the document and seal would greatly assist 
detection. But I would suggest that there might be another 
class to be considered. This Colchester charter is a case in 
point. The impression it conveys to my mind is that of a 
genuine charter, adapted by a systematic process of florid and 
grandiloquent adornment to a depraved monkish taste. In 
short, I look on this charter as not, of necessity, a "forgery," 
that is, intended to deceive, but as possibly representing the 
results of a process resembling that of illumination. Such 
an hypothesis may appear daring, but it is based, we must 
remember, on a mental attitude, on, so to speak, an historic 
conscience, radically different from our own. After all, it is 
but in the present generation that the sacredness of an original 
record has been recognized as it should. Such a conception 
was wholly foreign to the men of the Middle Ages. I had 
occasion to allude to this essential fact in a study on " The 
Book of Howth," when calling attention to the strange liberties 
allowed themselves by the early translators of the Expugnatio 
Hihernise. Geoffrey of Monmouth illustrates the point. Look- 
ing not only at him but his contemporaries in the twelfth 
century, we cannot but compare the impertinent obtrusion of 
their pseudo-classical and, still more, their incorrigible Biblical 
erudition, with the same peculiar features in such charters as 
those of which I speak. Another remarkable parallel, I think, 
may be found in the Dialogus de Scaccario. Observe there the 
opening passage, together with the persistent obtrusion of texts, 
and compare them with the general type of forged, spurious, or 
" doctored " charters. The resemblance is very striking. It 
was, one might say, the systematic practice of the monkish 
forger or adapter to make the royal or other grantor in such 
charters as these indulge in a homily from the monkish stand- 
point on the obligation to make such grants, and to quote texts 
in support of that thesis. Once viewed in this light, such 
passages are as intelligible as they are absurd. 


But, in addition to, and distinct from, these stilted morali- 

zations, is the process which I have ventured to compare witli 

illumination or even embroidery. This was, in most cases, so 

overdone, as to bury the simple phraseology of the original, if 

genuine, instrument beneath a pile of grandiloquence. Take 

for instance this clause from the Colchester charter in question : 

"Data Kothomagi deo gratias solemniter et feliciter Anno ab incarn' 
dom' Mcxix. Quo nimirum anno prsataxatus filius regis Hearici Will's rex 
designatus puellam nobilissimam filiam Fulconis Andegavorum comitis 
Mathildam nomine Luxouii duxit uxorem." 

Now, if we compare this clause with that appended to an 
original charter of some ten years later, we there read thus : — 

" Apnd Wintoniam eodem anno, inter Pascham et Pentecostem, quo Rex 
duxit in uxorem filiam ducis de Luvain." ' 

This peculiar method of dating charters which is found in 
this reign suggests that the genuine charter to Colchester 
would contain a similar clause (if any),^ beginning " Apud 
Rothomagum eodem anno quo," etc., etc. As it stands in the 
cartulary, the original clause has been treated by the monkish 
scribe much as an original passage in a chronicle might be 
worked into his text, in the present day, by an historian of the 
" popular" school.^ But wide and interesting though the con- 
clusions are to which such an hypothesis might lead, I must 
confine myself here to pointing out that the list of witnesses, 

* Duchy of Lancaster : Boyal Charters, No. 6. 

' Compare the Eouen charter [1113] to St. Evroul, where the clause is 
" Anno quo comes Audegaveusis mecum pacem fecit," etc., etc. (see p. 423). 

^ This is specially applicable to the insertion of the year in numerals. 
Such date would be, though actually an addition, yet a legitimate inference 
from the event alluded to in the charter. It may be worth alluding to 
another case, though it stands on somewhat a different footing, to illustrate 
the infinite variety of treatment to which such charters were subjected, even 
when there were neither occasion nor intention to deceive. This is that of 
the final agreement between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, of 
which the record is preserved at Canterbury. It has been discovered that 
the document from which historians have quoted (A. 1) is not really the 
original, but a copy "which was plainly intended for public exhibition" 
{Fijih Beport Hist. MSS., App. i. p. 452). Moreover, the real original (A. 2) 
was found not to contain the final clause (narrating the place and circum- 
stances of the agreement), which is hence supposed to have been subse- 
quently added, for the sake of convenience, by the clerk. (See my letter in 
Athenxum, December 19, 1891.) 


in its minutest details, is apparently beyond impeachment. 
Specially wonld I refer to four names, those of the clerks of 
the king's chapel. It is rare, indeed, to find so complete and 
careful a list. The four " capellani regis," as they are here 
styled, are (1) John de Bayeux;^ (2) Nigel de Calne;^ (3) 
Robert "Pechet;"^ (4) Richard *' custos sigilli regis."* The 
remarkable and, we may fairly assume, undesigned coincidence 
between the list of witnesses attesting this charter, and that of 
the king's followers at the battle of Bremule (fought, there is 
reason to believe, within a few weeks of its grant), as given 
by Ordericus Yitalis, ought to be carefully noted, confirming, 
as it obviously does, the authority of both the lists, and con- 
sequently my hypothesis that the charter in the Colchester 
cartulary represents a genuine original record belonging to the 
date alleged.^ 

It is also, perhaps, worth notice that Eadmer applies to 
William " the -<^theling " the very same terra as that which 
meets us in this charter, namely, " designatus." ^ 

Approaching now the question of date, we note that the 
charter must have been subsequent to the marriage at Lisieux 
(June, 1 1 19) to which it refers, and previous to the Council 
of Rheims (October 20, 1 119), which Archbishop Thurstan 
attended, and from which he did not return.' We know that 
between these dates Henry was in Rouen at least once, viz. at 
the end of September (1119),® so that we can determine the 
date of the charter within exceedingly narrow limits. 

* Naturiil son of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, the Conqueror's half-brotlier. 

2 " Nigellus de Calna reddit compotum de j marca argenti pro Willelino 
nepote suo" {B.ot. Fip., 31 Hen. I., p. 18). 

' Made Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry early in 1121. 

* Allan "de Sigillo." He was made Bishop of Hereford in January, 
1121, as "Ricardus qui regii sigilli sub cancellario custos erat" (Eadmer). 

* In both we have the same three earls, neither more nor less ; in both 
we have the same two filii regis, Robert and Richard ; in both we have 
Richard de Tankerville and Nigel de Albini and Roger fitz Richard. 

^ " Willelmum jam olim regni hseredem designatum " (p. 290). Compare 
the Continuator of Florence of Worcester, who, speaking of the very event 
(1119) by which this charter is dated, describes him as William *'quem jam 
[i.e. 1116] hseredem totius regni sui constituerat " (ii. 72). 

^ Florence of Worcester, ii. 72. 

® Ordericus Vitalis (ed. Societe de I'Histoire de France), iv. 371. 


The remaining charters which we have now to examine are 
all subsequent to the king's return and the disaster of the 
White Ship (T^ovember 25, 1120). 

The desolate king had spent his Christmas (1120) in com- 
parative seclusion at Brampton, attended by his nephew, 
Theobald of Blois.^ In January (1121) he came south to attend 
a great council before his approaching marriage. By Eadmer 
and the Continuator of Florence of Worcester, the assembling 
of the council is assigned to the Epiphany (January 6, 1121). 
Richard " de Sigillo " was on the following day (January 7) 
elected to the see of Hereford, and was consecrated nine days 
later (January 16, 1121) at Lambeth.^ 

To this council we may safely assign a charter in the British 
Museum (Harley, 111, B. 46),^ of value for its list of witnesses, 
twenty-six in number. It gives us the names of no fewer than 
thirteen bishops, by whom, in addition to the primate, this 
council was attended.* Mr. Walter de Gray Birch, by whom 
so much has been done to encourage the study of charters and 
of seals, has edited this record in one of his instructive sphra- 
gistic monographs.^ He has, however, by an unfortunate inad- 
vertence, omitted about half a dozen witnesses,^ while his two 
limits of date are not quite correct ; for Richard was conse- 
crated Bishop of Hereford, not on "the 16th of January, 1120," 
but on the 16th of January, 1121 (N.S.), and Archbishop Ralph 
died, not " 19th September," but 19th October (xiv. kal. 
K"ovembris), 1122. Thus the limit for this charter would be, 
not "from April, 1120, to September, 1122," but from January, 
1121, to October, 1122. Mr. Birch further observes that " the 

^ Henry of Huntingdon. 
2 Cont. Flor. Wig., ii. 75 ; Eadmer, 290. 

^ " Sciatis me dedisse et concessisse Eicardo episcopo episcopatum de 
Hereford," etc., etc. 

* Five of them joined the primate in the consecration of the Bishop of 
Hereford (January 16). The Archbishop of York was not at the council, 
being still in disgrace with the king for his conduct at the Council of Kheims 
(October, 1119). 

* Journ. Brit. Arch. As$., xxix. 258, 259. 

* Reading "Willelmo, & Eicardo filiis Baldewini," where the charter 
hns:— "(1) William de Tankerville, (2) William de Albini, (3) Walter de 
Gloucester, (4) Adam de Port, (5) William de Pirou, (6) Walter de Gant, 
(7) Eichard fitz Baldwin. 


date may be taken very shortly after the consecration of 
Richard." Here again, I must reluctantly differ, for by the 
practice of the time, the grant of the temporalities did not come 
after, but before, the consecration. The charter, in short, as 
I observed above, can be safely assigned to the council of 
January, 1121. 

In it the subject of this paper attests as "Roberto filio 
Regis." His name occurs in its right place immediately after 
those of the earls, who, oddly enough, are in this charter the 
same two, at least in title, ^ after whom he had attested the 
Savigny charter in 1118.^ 

The next charters in my chain of evidence are two which 
passed at Windsor. We are told by Simeon of Durham that at 
the time of the king's marriage (January 29-30, 1121) there 
was gathered together at Windsor a council of the whole realm. ^ 
To this council I assign a charter printed by Madox from the 
original among the archives of Westminster Abbey.* I am led 
to do so because, firstly, the names of the witnesses are all 
found, with three exceptions, in charters belonging to this date ; 
second, the said three exceptions are those of Count Theobald 
of Blois, who had, we know, joined the king not long before, of 
Earl David, from Scotland, whose visit would be due to the occa- 
sion of his brother-in-law's wedding, and of the Archbishop of 
Rouen, whose presence may be also thus accounted for ; ^ third, 
the attestation of two archbishops with four bishops suggests the 
presence of a " concilium," as described by Simeon of Durham. 

If this is the date of the charter in question, it may also be 
that of another charter, also to Westminster Abbey,^ for its 

1 The Count of Mortain, and the Earl of Chester. The latter was, of 
course, now Randolf, who had succeeded his cousin Richard, drowned in the 
White Ship. 

2 Vide supra, p 423. 

3 "Anno Mcxxi Concilio totins Angliae ante purificationem . . . apud 
Win'leresoram adunato, Henricus rex . . . Adelinam matrimonio sibi junxit " 
(ii 249). 

* Formularium Anglicanum, No. Ixv. (p 39). 

5 This would give us, as the principal guests assembled at the king's 
wedding, his brother-in-law, Earl David, his nephews Theobald, Count of 
Blois, and Stephen, Count of Mortain, with the primates of England and 
of Normandy. 

^ Madox's Formularium Anglicanum, No. ccccxcvi. (p. 292). 


eleven witnesses are all found among those of the preceding 
charter. In both these cases " Robert, the king's son," attests 
in his regular place immediately after the earls.^ 

We now come to an original charter in every way of the 
highest importance.^ I have already quoted its dating clause,* 
which proves it to have been executed at Winchester, between 
Easter (April 10) and Pentecost (May 29), 1121. Moreover, as 
the king spent his Easter at Berkeley and his Whitsuntide at 
Westminster,^ the limit of date, as a matter of fact, is some- 
what narrower still. Here again Robert attests (" Rob[erto] 
fil[io] Regis ") at the head of all the laity beneath the rank 
of earl. 

The last charter which I propose to adduce, as attested by 
" Robert, the king's son," is one which, in all probability, may 
be assigned to this same occasion, for the whole of its thirteen 
witnesses had attested the previous charter, with the exception 
of two bishops, whose presence can be otherwise accounted for,* 
and of William de Warenne (Earl of Surrey). 

The importance of this charter is not so great as that of 
those adduced above, for it is known to us only from the Rymer 
Collectanea (^Add. MSS., 4573), of which an abstract is appended 
to the Foedera.^ Moreover, in one minute detail its accuracy 
may be fairly impugned, for " Willielmo de Warenna " clearly 
stands for " Willielmo Comite de Warenna." Nor, indeed, is its 
evidence needed, the proof being complete without it. Yet, as 
the charter (quantum valeat) has been assigned, I think, to a 
wrong date, the point may be worth glancing at. In the Rymer 
Collectanea the date is fixed as " 1115 " (or " 16 Henry I.") on the 
ground that it belongs to the same date as a charter of Henry I. 
to Bardney, which was granted " Apud Wynton' xvj. anno 
postquam rex recepit regnum Angliae."'' Mr. Eyton also, in a 

^ Earl David and the Count of Blois. 

2 Duchy of Lancaster : Boyal Charters, No. 6. 

' Supra, p. 426. ♦ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 

* Winchester, who had attested the Windsor charters, and who here 
attests in his own city ; and St. David's, who is constantly found at Court, 
and who had attested, in January, the charter at Westminster, to the Bishop 
of Hereford {supra, p. 428). 

^ " Concessio Manerii de clara Archiepiscopo Rothomagensi." 

' Mon. Ang., i. 629. 


late addition to his MS. Itinerary of Henry I.,^ wrote tliat the 
presence of three of the bishops (Lincoln, Salisbury, and St. 
David's) suggested " the latter part of 1115." But we must 
remember that the Bardney charter is known to us only from a 
late Inspeximus,^ and that the dating clause is somewhat sus- 
picious. Yet even if the version were entirely genuine, the 
fact remains that the list of witnesses has only four names ' in 
common with that in the charter I am discussing, which has, 
on the contrary, no less than ten in common with those in the 
original charter of 1121.* 1 cannot, therefore, but fix on 1121 
as a far more probable date for its grant than 1115-1116. 

This, however, as I said, is but a small matter. The really 
important fact is this : that we have a continuous chain of 
evidence, proving that " Robert, the king's son," was not yet 
Earl of Gloucester, at least as late as April — May, 1121. 

Against this weight of accumulated evidence what is there ? 
Absolutely nothing but that Tewkesbury charter, which is 
quoted from Dugdale's Monasticon, where it is quoted from a 
mere Inspeximus of the 10th Henry lY. (1408-9), some three 
centuries after its alleged date ! ^ I need scarcely say that this 
miserable evidence for the assertion that Robert was Earl of 
Gloucester, at Easter, 1116, is simply annihilated and crumpled 
up by the proof afforded by original charters that he had not 
yet received the earldom even five years later on (1121). 

It is, however, satisfactory to be able to add that, even 
independent of this rebutting evidence, the charter itself, on its 
own face, bears witness of its spurious character. Mr. Eyton, 
indeed, was slightly uneasy about two of the witnesses, it being, 
he thought, as unusually early for an attestation of Brian fitz 
Count, as it was late for that of Hamo Dapifer.^ Yet he was 
not, on that account, led to reject it ; indeed, he not only 
accepted, but unfortunately built upon its evidence. He never, 
however, we must remember, committed his conclusions to print, 
so that it may be urged with perfect justice that he might 
have reconsidered and changed his views before he made them 

» Add. MS8., 31,937, fol. 130. 2 Cart., 5 Edw. III., n. 10. 

' The chancellor and three bishops. 

* Duchy of Lancaster : Eoyal Charters, No. 6. 

^ Monasticon Anglicanum, ii. 66. " Addl MSS., 31,943, fol. 68, b. 


public. Not so with Mr. Chester "Waters. Announcing the dis- 
covery which Mr. Eyton had so strangely anticipated, he wrote — 

" We know that the earldom [of Gloucester] was conferred on him 
[Robert] before Easter, 1116, for he attested as earl the royal charter in 
favour of Tewkesbury Abbey which was executed at Winchester, on the eve 
of the king's embarkation for Normandy {Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 66)." ' 

"When Mr. "Waters thus wrote, had he observed that in this 
charter the king's style appears as " Henr' dei gratia Rex Angl' 
et dux Norm^ " ? And if he had done so, if he had glanced 
at the charter on which he based his case, is it possible that 
he was so unfamiliar with the charters and the writs of 
Henry I., as not to be aware that such a style, of itself, throws 
doubt upon the charter?^ To those who remember that he 
confessed (in reply to certain criticisms of my own) to having 
" carelessly repeated a statement which comes from a dis- 
credited authority," ^ and that he announced a discovery as to 
the meeting of Henry I. and Robert of Normandy, in 1101,* 
which, as I proved, was based only on his own failure to read 
a charter of this reign aright,^ such a correction as this will 
come as no surprise. 

Having now shown that Robert fitz Roy was not yet Earl 
of Gloucester in April — May, 1121, I proceed to show that he 
was earl in June, 1123. 

The charter by which I prove this is granted "apud Portes- 
mudam in transfretatione mea." ^ It is dated in the thirty-first 
Report of the Deputy-keeper of the Records (in the calendar 
of these charters drawn up by the late Sir "William Hardy) 
as " 1115-1123." Its exact date can, however, be determined, 
and is 3-10 June, 1123. This I prove thus. The parties 
addressed are Theowulf, Bishop of "Worcester (who died 
October 20, 1123), and Robert, Earl of Gloucester (who was 
not yet earl in April — May, 1121). These being the limits of 
date, the only occasion within these limits on which the king 

^ Survey of Lindsey, p. 3, See my paper on " The spurious Tewkesbury 
Charter'' in Genealogist, October, 1891. 

* " Kex Anglorum " was the normal style employed in the English 
charters of Henry I. : "Dux Normannorum," etc., was added by Henry II. 

^ Academy, June 27, 1885. * Xotes and Qiteries^ 6th series, i. 6. 

' Athenxum, Dec. 19, 1885. 

* Duchy of Lancaster : Koyal Charters, No. 5. 


" transfretavit " was in June, 1123. And we learn from the 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that the king, on that occasion, was at 
Portsmouth, waiting to cross, all Pentecost week (June 3-10). 
This is conclusive. 

It is certain, therefore, that Robert fitz Roy received the 
earldom of Gloucester between April — May, 1121, and June, 
1123. We may even reduce this limit if we can trust a charter 
in the Register of St. Osmund (i. 382) which is absurdly 
assigned in the Rolls edition to circ. 1109. The occurrence 
of Robert, Earl of Leicester, proves that it must be subsequent 
to his father's death in 1118, and consequently (as the charter 
is tested at Westminster) to the king's return in 1120. Again, 
as Bishop Robert of Lincoln witnesses the charter, it must be 
previous to his death, January 10, 1123. But as the king had 
not been at Westminster for some time before that, it cannot 
be placed later than 1122. Now, we have seen that in April — 
May, 1121, Robert was not yet Earl of Gloucester ; consequently, 
this charter must belong to the period between that date and 
the close of 1122. It is, therefore, the earliest mention, as yet 
known to me, of Robert as Earl of Gloucester. As we increase 
our knowledge of the charters of this reign we shall doubtless 
be able to narrow further the limit I have thus ascertained. 

There is, indeed, a charter which, if we could trust it, 
would greatly reduce the limit. This is Henry I.'s great charter 
to Merton,^ which is attested by Robert, as Earl of Gloucester, 
and which purports to have passed August 5 — December 31, 
1121 (? 24th March, 1122) .^ But it is quite certain that, in the 
form we have it, this charter is spurious. It is true that the 
names given in the long list of witnesses are, apparently, consis- 
tent with the date,^ but all else is fatally bad. Both the charter 
itself, and the attestations thereto, are in the worst and most 
turgid style ; the precedence of the witnesses is distinctly 
wrong,* and the mention of the year- date would alone rouse 

* Cartfe Antiquse, R. 5. 

2 It is dated 1121, and in the twenty-second year of the reign. 

3 That is, if Archbishop Thurstan was yet restored to favour. 

* The chancellor, for instance, instead of attesting after the bishops and 
before the laity, actually follows immediately after the archbishops, and 
precedes the whole "bench of bishops." I have been amazed to find 
antiquaries who thought nothing of this matter of precedence. 



suspicion. Whether, and, if so, to what extent, the charter 
is based on a genuine docnment, it is not easy to decide. 
A reference to the new Monastico7i wdll show that there is a 
difficulty, a conflict of testimony, about the facts of the founda- 
tion. This increases the doubt as to the authenticity of the 
charter, from the evidence of which, if not confirmed, we are 
certainly Dot entitled to draw any authoritative conclusion as 
to the date of Robert's creation. 

Adhering then, for the present, to the limits I have given 
above (1121-1122) I may point out that Robert's promotion 
may possibly have been due to his increased importance, con- 
sequent on the loss in the White Ship of the king's only 
legitimate son, and of his natural son Richard. Of Henry's 
thi^ee adult sons he now alone remained.^ It is certain that 
he henceforth continued to improve his position and power 
till, as we know, he contested with his future rival, Stephen, 
the honour of being first among the magnates to swear 
allegiance to the Empress. 

Before passing to a corollary of the conclusion arrived at in 
this paper it may be well to glance at Robert's younger brother 
and namesake. This was a son of Henry by another mother, 
Edith, whose parentage, by the way, suggests a genealogical 
problem.^ He was quite a nonentity in the history of the 

^ Robert anJ Richard are the two of Henry's natural sons, who are 
mentioned as with him in Normandy, and fighting beneath his standard at 

* If, as suggested by the narrative in the Monagticon of the foundation 
of Osney Abhey, her's name was "Forne," one is tempted to ask if 
tlie bearer of so uncommon a name was identical with the Forn Ligulfson 
'^Forne filius Lignlfi"), who is mentioned by Simeon of Durham, in 1121, 
as one of the magnates of XortLumbria, and if so, whether the latter was son 
of the wealthy but ili-fated Ligulf, murdered near Durham in lOSO. Should 
both these queries 1)6 answered in tne affirmative, Edith would have been 
named after her grandmother ''Eadgvth," the highly born wife of Ligulf. 
Writing at a distance from works of reference I canu'-t tell whether such a 
descent has been suggested before, but it would certainly, could it be prove-), 
be of quite exceptional interest. Edith, as is tt-lerably well known, was first 
the mistress of Henry, and then the wife of Robert D'Oilli. Thus her sou 
by tlie former, Robert fitz Edith (see p. 94, ji. 4), was (half>brother to Henry 
D'Oilli. and is so described by the latter in one of his grants to Osney CDug- 
dale'a Baronage, i. 460). It should be added that an "Ivo fil' Forn " appears 
in the Pipe-Roll of 1130 (p. 25). Was he brother to Edith ? 


time as compared with the elder Robert ; nor does his name, 
so far as I know, occur before 1130, when it is entered in the 
Pipe-Roll for that year. He is found as a witness to one of 
his royal father's charters, which is only known to us from 
the Cartse Antiquse, and which belongs to the end of the reign/ 
There is no possibility of confusion between his brother and 
himself, for his earliest attestations are, as we have seen, 
several years later than his brother's elevation to the earldom, 
so that they cannot both have been attesting, at any one period, 
as "Robert, the king's son." It is, moreover, self-evident that 
such a style could only be used when there was but one person 
whom it could be held to denote. 

As illustrating the value of such researches as these, and 
the importance of securing a " fixed point " as a help for other 
inquiries, I shall now give an instance of the results consequent 
on ascertaining the date of this creation. Let us turn to that 
remarkable record among the muniments of St. Paul's, which 
the present Deputy-Keeper of the Records first made public,' 
and which has since been published in extenso and in fac- simile 
by the Corporation of London in their valuable History of the 
Guildhall. The importance of this record lies in its mention 
of the wards of the City, with their respective rulers, at an 
exceptionally early date. What that date was it is most 
desirable to learn. Mr. Loftie has rightly, in his later work,'^ 
made the greatest use of this list, which he describes (p. 93) 
as " the document I have so often quoted as containing a list 
of the lands of the dean and chapter before 1115." Indeed, 
he invariably treats this document as one " which must have 
been written before 1115" (p. 82). But the only reason to be 
found for his conclusion is that — 

"Coleman Street appears in the St. Paul's list as 'Warda Reimundi,' 
and this is the more interesting as we know that Reimund, or Reinmund, 
was dead before 1115, wliich helps us to date the document. Azo, his son, 
succeeded him " (p. SO).* 

^ Charter to the church of Durham, printed in Rymer's Foedera (Record 
edition), i. 13, and assigned by Sir T. D. Hardy {Syllabus) to "1134.'* It 
was, in any case, subsequent to Flambard's death (September 5, 1128). 

^ Ninth Beport Hist MSS., App. i. p. 56. ' Historic Towns : London. 

* Mr. Loftie elsewhere tells us (p. 27) that Reinmund ** was succeeded 


This is a most astounding statement, considering that all " we 
know," from these documents, of Reimund or Reinmund is 
that both he and his son Azo were living in 1132, when they 
attested a charter ! ^ Turning from this strange blunder to 
the fact that the Earl of Gloucester is amonor those mentioned 
in this list,^ we learn at once that, so far from being earZier than 
1115, it is later than the earl's creation in 1121-1122. And 
this conclusion accords well with the fact that other names 
which it contains, such as those of John fitz Ralf (fitz 
Evrard),' William Malet, etc., belong to the close of the 

Before taking leave of this record, 1 would glance at the 
curious entry : — 

** Terra Gialle [reddit] ii sol[idos] et est latitudinis lii pedum longitudiuis 
cxxxii pedum." 

Mr. Price, the editor of the work, renders this " The land 
of Gialla ; " but what possible proper name can " Gialla " 
repi'esent ? When we find that the list is followed by a 
reference to the Jews being '' incarcerati apud Gyhalam," temp. 
Edward L, and when Mr. Price admits that '" Gyaula " is 
among the early forms of " Guildhall," is it too rash a con- 
jecture that we have in the above " Gialla" a mention of the 
Guildhall of London earlier, by far, than he, or any one else, 
has ever yet discovered ? 

by his more emiQent sou Azo, the goldsmith, whom it would be interesting 
to identify with one of the Azors of Domesday." How does Mr. Loftie 
know that Azo was "more eminent" than his father, or that he wiis a 
"goldsmith"? On one point we can certainly agree with him. It would 
be most " interesting " to identify a Domesday tenant in a man whose father 
was living in 1132 ! 

' Ninth Report (id supra), p. 67 !!^. For similar instances of eccentric 
statements on the City fathers in Mr. Loftie's book, see p. 3o5, and my paper 
on " The First Mayor of London " (Antiquary, March, 1887). They throw, 
it will be found, a strange light on Mr. Elton'a unfortunate remark that 
"'Mr. Loftie makes good use of the documents discovered at St. Paul's" 
(Academy, April 30, 1887, p. 301). 

- " Socce Comitis Gloecestrie." 

^ Cf. pp. 305, 306. 

* Ralf fitz " Algod," Robert fitz Gosbert, and Robert d'Ou occur in a 
deed of 1132 (Ninth Report Hist. MSS., App. i. p. 67 b), and Osbert Maa- 
culus in one of 1142 (ibid., p 40 b). 


Page 5. The assertion by the Continuator of Florence of 
Worcester that Stephen kept his coronation court " cum totius 
Angliae primoribus " has an important bearing on the assertion 
by Florence that Harold was elected to the throne *' a totius 
Anglias primatibus." For this latter phrase is the sheet-anchor 
upon which Mr. Freeman relies for the fact of Harold's valid 
election, and which he is avowedly compelled to strain to the 
uttermost : — 

" He was chosen, not by some small or packed assembly, but by the chief 
men of the land. And he was chosen, not by this or that shire or earldom, 
but by the chief men of the whole land. . . . All this is implied in the 
weighty and carefully chosen words of Florence" (^Norman Conquest [1869], 
iii. 597). 

So also he confidently insists that — 

" There can be no doubt tliat the Witan of Northumberland, no less than 
the Witan of the rest of England, had concurred in the election of Harold. 
The expressions of our best authorities declare that the chief men of all 
England concurred in the choice " (ibid., p. 57). 

The only authority given for this assertion is the above 
statement by Florence that " Harold was ' a totius Angliae pri- 
matibus ad regale culmen electas.' " 

Now, the known authorities from which Florence worked 
(the Abingdon and Worcester chronicles) " are," Mr. Freeman 
admits, " silent about the election." The fact, therefore, rests 
on the ipse dixit of Florence (for the words of the Peterborough 
chronicler are quite general, and, moreover, he is admittedly 
a partisan), who was, strictly speaking, not a contenftporary 

Stephen's election, as Mr. Freeman observes, " can hardly 
fail to call to our minds " that oi Harold, and in the case of 


Stephen's accession we have what he himself terms the " valu- 
able contemjDorary " evidence of the Continuator of Florence." 
This evidence, which is better, because more contemporary, 
than that of Florence as to 1066, is equally precise {yidie supra), 
aud might, in the absence of rebutting testimony, be appealed 
to as confidently as Mr. Freeman appeals to that of Florence. 
But in this case it is proved, by rebutting evidence, to be worth- 
less, just as it is at Maud's '• reception " in 1141 (see p. 64). 

Therefore, we see how dangerous it is to accept such state- 
ments, when unsupported, as exact iu every detail, and are led 
to regard the words of Florence as a mere conventional phrase, 
rather than to hold, as Mr. Freeman insists, that in " no passage 
in any ^-riter of any age . . . does every word deserve to be 
more attentively weighed." 

The caution with which such .evidence should be used is one 
of the chief lessons this work is intended to enforce (see p. 267). 

Page 8. There is much confusion as to the charters of liber- 
ties issued by Stephen. The "second" charter, as explained 
in the text, was issued at Oxford in the spring of 1136; the 
other, commonly termed the '' coronation " charter, is found 
only, it would seem, in the Cottonian MS. Claud. D. II., and 
has no note of date. Mr. Hubert Hall has been good enough 
to inform, me that the authority of this MS. is first-rate; and, 
as to the date at which the charter was issued, that of the 
coronation, there is no doubt, was the most probable. It is 
important to observe that the oath stated by William of Malmes- 
bury to have been taken by Stephen at his first arrival (and 
afterwards committed to writing at Oxford) was " de libertate 
reddenda ecclesiae et conservanda." William's remark that 
this oath, " postea scripto inditum, loco suo non pra?termittam," 
proves that he must have looked on the Oxford charter as the 
record of this oath in writing ; for that is the only charter 
which he gives in his work. This fits in with the fact that the 
charter assigned to the coronation contains no mention of the 
Church and her liberties, while the " second " (Oxford) charter 
is full of them. It would appear, then, that the Oxford charter 
combined the original oath to the Church with the " coro- 
nation " charter to the people at large, at the same time expand- 
ing them both in fuller detail. 


Page 37. (Cf. p. 354.) It would, perhaps, have been rash 
to introduce into the text the conjecture that in the first Geof- 
frey de Mandeville we have the actual " Gosfregth Portire- 
fan " to whom the Conqueror's charter to the citizens of London 
was addressed, although the story in the De Inventione, the 
known connection of the Mandevilles with the shrievalty, and 
the striking resemblance of the two names (even closer than in 
" Esegar " and " Ansgar "), all point to the same conclusion. 

The association of the custody of the Tower with the 
shrievalty of London and Middlesex is a point of considerable 
interest, because in other cases — such as those of Worcester- 
shire, Gloucestershire, Wilts, and Devon — we find the custody 
of the fortress in the county town and the shrievalty of the 
shire hereditarily vested in the same hands. 

Page 74. The phrase " in regni donainam electa " must, as 
explained in the text, not be pressed too far, as it may be 
loosely used. But the parallel is too curious to be passed over. 

Page 92. The grant of " excidaraenta " confers on Geoffrey 
the escheatorship of Essex to the exclusion of any Crown 

Page 93. The closing clauses of this charter suggest that 
Geoffrey was even then guarding himself against the con- 
sequences of future treason. 

Page 103. The grants of knight-service to Geoffrey should 
be carefully compared with those, by Henry I., to William de 
Albini " Pincerna," as recorded in the carta of his fief {Liher 
Buheus, ed. Hall, p. 397), and are also illustrated by the charter 
to Aubrey, p. 189. 

Page 112. " Archiepiscopo Cant." is, of course, a transcriber's 
wrong extension for " Arch[idiacono] Cant." 

Page 116. The phrase " senatoribus inclitis, civibus honoratis, 
et omnibus commune London " may be compared with the 
" cent partz et a laut poble et comunautat de Baione " on 
p. 248. 

Page 182. The expression "una baronia" should be noted 
as a very early instance of its use. 

Page 189. The name of Abbot Ording dates this charter as 
between 1148 and 1156 {Memorials of St. Edmundsbury, I. 

Page 190. "Mauricius dapifer" was Maurice de n'^indsor, 


steward of the Abbey. For him and for the Cockfield family, 
see the Camden Society's edition of Jocelyn de Brakelonde. 

*'Alanus filiiis Frodonis " was probably the heir of Frodo, 
brother to Abbot Baldwin of St. Edmund's (see Domesday) . 

Page 205. Compare William of Malmesbury's criticism on 
Stephen's conduct in attacking Lincoln (1140) without due 
notice : " Iniquam id visum multis," etc. 

Page 235. The transcriber is responsible, of course, for the 
extension of the king's style. 

Page 242. It is only fair to add that the peculiar strength 
of the words of inheritance might be held to support the view 
that hereditary earldoms were a novelty. 

Page 267. The charters of Henry II. to certain earls in no 
way affect miy real contention, namely, that no " fiscal " earls 
were, as is alleged, deprived by him of their earldoms. 

Page 275. On the gradual resumption of crown-lands, see 
my Ancient Charters, page 47. 

Page 286. " Navium applicationibus " (cf. Domesday, 32 : 
"De exitu aquae ubi naves applicabant ") is a phrase occurring 
elsewhere as " appulatione navium." It there equates " thelo- 
neum," and was doubtless a payment for landing-dues. So, 
" de teloneo dando ad Bilino^esofate " is found in the Instituta 
Londoniae of ^thelred. 

Page 312, note 1. Compare the charge against Harold (in 
the French life of the Confessor) that he " deners cum usurer 

Page 314. The occurrence of " salinis " among the general 
words in this charter is clearly due to the rights of the Beau- 
champs in Droitwich and its salt-pans. 

Page 371. The amount of the firma seems to be determined 
by an entry in the Pipe-Roll of 15 Hen. II. (page 169), which 
makes it £500 "blanch," 'plus a varying sum of about £20 
" numero." 

Page 372. Henry's jealousy of the Londoners might also be 
due, in part, to their steadfast support of Stephen and opposition 
to his mother. His restriction of clauses (1) and (10) to lands 
within the walls is illustrated by a citizen having to pay, in 
1169 {Rot. Fip. 15 Hen. IL, p. 173), " ut placitet contra W. de 
R. in civitafe Lund' de terra de Eggeswera " (Edgware), as a 
special favour. 



Abetot, Geoffrey d', 314 

, Urse d', 314, 315 

Abingdon Abbey, its treasury robbed, 

213; its troubles, 415, 416; its 

delegate, 384 

, Ingulf, abbot of, 265, 415 

Adeliza, Queen (wife of Henry I.). 

her " election," 74, 439 ; marries 

Henry I., 429 ; William de Albini, 

319, 322, 323 ; dowered by Henry I., 

322, 324 ; her grant to Reading, 325 
^IfgarC'Colessune"), 310 

, Nicholas, son of, 309, 310 

Affidatio, 170, 176, 182, 384-387 

Aino, "William de, 230 

Albamarle. See Aumale 

Albini, Nigel de, 427 

, William de (" Pincerna "), 262, 

263, 324, 428, 439. See also Arundel 
Aldreth (Camb.), 161, 162, 209 
Alexander,Pope, absolves Earl Geoffrey, 

Algasil, Gingan, 60 
Alvia, Andrew de, 172, 183 
Anarchy, incideuts of the, 127-132, 

134, 206, 20L)-220, 323, 403, 414-416 
Andover, Stephen at, 47 ; burnt by his 

queen, 128 
Angers, Ulger, bishop of, pleads for 

Maud at Rome, 8, 254-257 
Anjou. See Geoffkey 
Ansgar. See Esegar 
Anstey (Herts.), 141 
Appleby Castle, 331 
Arch', Gilbert, 314 
Ardleigh (Essex), 402 

Ardres, Baldwin d', 189, 397 

Arms, collateral adoption of, 394 ; date 
of their origiuj 396 

Arques, Chateau d', 340-346 ; its keep 
built by Henry I., 333 

, Count William of, 341-343, 345, 


, William of, 180, 188, 397 

Arras, Baldwin of, 310 

Arsic, Geoffrey, 190, 230 

Arundel, Robert, 93, 263, 264, 266 

, Empress lands at, 55, 278, 280 

, William (de Albini), earl of, 143. 

145, 146; "pincerna," 324; created 
earl, 322 ; styled Earl of Chichester. 
318, 320 ; Earl of Sussex, 146, 319, 
320 ; Earl of Lincoln, 324, 325 ; his 
charter from Henry II., 240 ; liis 
" third penny," 293 ; holds Waltham, 
324; at St. Albans, 204-206; dies, 
317 ; his character, 323 

, earldom of, 316-325 ; its earliest 

mention, 146, 271, 322 ; not an earl- 
dom by tenure, 316, 324 ; its various 
names, 320, 321 ; similar to other 
earldoms, 322, 325 

Assarts (forest), 92, 168, 182, 376-378 

Aston (Salop), 418 

Auco. See Ou 

Aumale, William of (Earl of York), 
143, 145, 146, 157, 262-264, 276, 385 

Avranehes, Rhiwallon d', 397 

i Tuigis d', 46, 52, 144, 149, 158, 


, William d', 154, 180, 397 

, bishop of, Richard, 262, 263 

Aynho (Northants), 390 

Azo. See Reinmund 




liaentona. See Bampton 

Bailiffs, represent, iu towns, the 
sheriff, 110 

Balliol, Joscelin de, 236 

Bamptou, Kobert de, 140 

Bareville, Walter de, 231 

Barking, Stephen at, 320 ; his charters 
to, 320, 378 ; Alice, abbess of, 378 

'• Barouia," grant of a, 182, 439 

Barstable, hundred of, grant of the, 320 

Basset, Ralf, 419 

, Richard, 265, 297, 298, 417, 418 

Bath, Stephen grants his bishopric of, 

, Robert, bishop of, 18, 64, 263 

Battle, Warner, abbot of, 265 

Bayeux, John de, 427 

, Odo, bishop of, 427 

Bayonne, customs of, 247 

Bazas (Aquitaine), customs of, 247 

Beauchamp, Maud de, 313 

, Stephen de, 314, 315 

. , Walter de, 313-315 

, William de, 154, 409, 416; con- 
stable, 285, 313 ; his charter from the 
Empress, 318-315 

(of Bedford), Miles de, 171, 183. 

314, 315 

■ . Payne de, 171, 392, 393 

, Robert de, 171 

, Simon de, 171, 231, 262, 263,390, 

392, 393 
Beaudesert Castle, 65 
Beaufoe, Henry, 230 ; Ralf de, 373 
Beaumont, Hugh de. See " Pauper " 
Becket, Thomas, his youth, 374, 375; 

as chancellor, 228, 236. See also 

Bedford, earldom of, 270, 271, 276 
" Begetord," 286 

Belmeis, Richard de (archdeacon), 123 
Belun, Adam de, 144, 158, 201, 320 
Bel voir, Robert de, 385 
Benwick, 211 
Berkeley, Henry I. at, 430 

, Roger de, 380, 409 

Berkshire, earldom of, 181 

Berners, Ralf de, 229-231 

Bigod, Gunnor, 391 

, Hugh (Earl of Norfolk), 403; 

with Henry I., 265, 365; asserts tlie 
Empress was disinherited, 6; with 
Stephen at Reading, 11, 13; at Ox- 
ford, 263 ; rebels, 23 ; attacked by 
Stephen, 49 ; created earl, 50, 188, 
191, 238, 270; with the Empress, 
83, 172, 178, 183 ; opposed to Stephen, 
195 ; rebels, 209 ; his earldom East 
Angliao, 273 ; created anew by 
Henry II., 277 

, Roger, 329 

Bigorre, customs of, quoted, 58 

Birch, Mr. W. de Gray, on a charter 
of Henry I., 428 ; on the charters to 
Geoffrey, 44, 87 ; on the seals of 
Stephen, 50, 139 ; on the election 
of the Empress, 59-61, 63 ; on the 
charters of the Empress, 66, 76 ; on 
the styles of the Empress, 75-78, 83 ; 
on the seal of the Empress, 299 ; his 
remarkable discovery, 71-73 

Bishopsbridge, Roger of, 375 

Bishop's Stortford, 167 ; its castle, 174 

Bisset, Manasser, 236 

Blois, Count Theobald of, 91, 428-430 ; 
forfeited by the Empress, 102, 140 

Blundus, Gilbert, 190 

, Robert, 229 

Boeland, Hugh de, 309, 328, 355 

, Waller de, 201 

Boeville, William de, 142, 231 

, Otwel de, 229 

Bohun, Humfrey de, 125, 234, 263, 
265, 281, 286, 314, 315, 418 

Bolbec, Hugh de, 201, 416 

, Walter de, 264 

Bonhunt. See Wickham Bonhuxt 

Boreham (Essex), 214 

" Bosco, de," Ernald, 228 

Boseville, William de, 142 

Bosham, Herbert of, on the Emperor, 

Boterel, Geoffrey, 125 

, Peter, 415 

, William, 415 

Boulogne,Coun t E ustace of, 1 , 2, 143,163 



Boulogne, Geoffrey de, 147 

, Pharamus de, 120, 144, 147 

, Richard de, 120 

, honour of, 121, 141, 147, 168, 182 

Bourton, young Henry attacks, 409 
Boxgrove Priory, 320 
Brampton, Henry I. at, 428 
Braughing (Herts.), 141 
Breteuil, William de, 327 
Bristol, Empress arrives at, 55, 278 ; 
Stephen imprisoned at, 56, 65 ; Em- 
press and her followers at, 135, 163 ; 
young Henry at, 407 

, St. Augustine's Abbey, 408 

Brito, Mainfeninus, 52, 201, 360 

, Eanulf (? Ralf), 143 

Brittany, Alan of. See Richmond 
Buccuinte, Andrew, 305, 309 
Buckenham Abbey, foundation of, 318 
Buckingham, earldom of, 272 
Bumsted Helion (Essex), 181 
Bungay (Suffolk), the foundation at, 

Burwell, besieged by Geoffrey, 220; 
who falls there, 221 
^ Bury, Richard de, his "Liber Episto- 
laris," 261 
Bushey (Herts.), 92, 156 


Caen, castle of, 331, 333 

Calne, Nigel de, 427 

Cambridge, sacked by Geoffrey, 212 

Cambridgeshire, " tertius denarius " of, 

181, 193, 194 
, earldom of, 181, 191-193, 271, 

"Camera abbatis," annuity from the, 

Camerarius, Eustace, 231 

. , Fulcred, 355 

, Richard, 355 

, William, 355 

Camville, Richard de, 159 
Cantelupe, Simon de, 402 
Canterbury, Gervase of, his accuracy 

confirmed, 137, 375 ; his chronology 

discussed, 284, 406-408 

Canterbury, John of (clerk), 375 

, arclibishops of, Lanfrauc, 326, 

337 ; — Anselm, sanctions marriage of 
Henry I., 257 ;— Ralf, 307, 428;— 
AVilliam, 265, 306 ; extorts oath from 
Stephen, 3 ; crowns him, 4-8, 253 ; 
with him at Reading, 11 ; at West- 
minster and Oxford, 262 ; his clerk 
"Lovel," 253; builds keep of Ro- 
chester, 337, 338 ;— Theobald, 311, 
370, 386 ; meets the Empress, 65 ; 
hesitates to receive her, 260 ; at- 
tends her election, 69 ; at her court, 
125; supports her cause, 208; for- 
feited by Stephen, 251 ; with Henry 
II., 236; patron of Becket, 375; 
papal letters to, 214, 215, 412, 413; 
— Thomas (Becket), confirms com- 
pensation to Ramsey, 225 ; claims 
Saltwood, 327. See also Becket 

, archdeacon of, Geoffrey, 112, 439 

, Stephen at, 1 ; granted to Earl of 

Gloucester, 2 ; Stephen re-crowned 
at, 137-139; Henry II. at, 236, 237 
— and York, charter of settlement 

between, 426 
Capella, Aubrey de, 190 
Capellanus, Hasculf, 231 

regis, 427. See also Fecamp 

Capra. See Chievee 

Carbonel, Hugh (fitz Ralf) de, 190 

, Ralf de, 190 

Carlisle, Athelwulf, bishop of, 262, 


, " firma/' of, 363 

, young Henry at, 408, 409 

Castle, 331 

Cartse of 1166, erroneous headings of, 

399, 402 ; carelessly transcribed, 401 ; 

illustrated by Pipe-Rolls, 402 
" Castellum," special meaning of, 331- 

334, 337, 338, 340, 343 
Castles, erection of, and license for, 

142, 154, 156, 160, 168, 174, 175 ; 

misery caused by, 217, 416; surrender 

of, extorted, 202, 207 ; their character, 

331, 334, 343, 346; in hands of 

sheriffs, 439 
" Castrum." See " Castellum " 



Catlidge (Essex), 90, 140 

Celestine, Pope, favours the Empress, 

252, 258, 259 
Cemey, 281 
Chahaines, Philip de, 382 

, Reginald de, 382 

Chalk (Kent), 306, 308 
Chamberlainship of England, the, 180, 

187, 390 
Chancellors (Stephen's), Philip (de 

Harcourt), 46-48 ;— Roger (le Poor), 

262, 263 
• (tlie Empress's), William (fitz 

Gilbert), 93, 123, 171, 182, 195;— 

William de Vere, 182, 195 
(of Henry I.), Geoffrey, 265 

Charters of Henry I., 19, 25, 422-434; 
to London, 109, 347, 356, 359, 364, 
367, 370 ; to Aubrey de Yere, 187, 
390 ; to church of Salisbury, 265 ; to 
Gervase of Cornhill, 305 ; to Bishop 
of Hereford, 428; to Olchester 
Abbey, 423-427; to Westminster, 
429 ; to Tewkesbury, 431 ; to Bard- 
ney, 430 ; Eudo Dapifer, 328 

of Stephen, 18, 19, 23, 25, 27, 438 ; 

to Miles of Gloucester, 11-14, 176; 
to church of Salisbury, 46 ; to 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, 41-53, 138, 
356; to Monks Horton, 158; to Earl 
cf Lincoln, 159; to Abingdon, 201 ; 
to St. Frideswide's, 201 ; to Barking, 
320, 378 

of the Empress Maud, 82, 83, 194 ; 

to Geoffrey de Mandeville, 41, 42, 
86-113, 139, 163-177, 291; to Miles 
of Gloucester, 56, 60, 123, 1G5, 288; 
to St. Bene't of Hulme, 67 ; to 
Thurstan de Montfort, 65, 66 ; to 
Glastonbury, 83 ; to Haughmond, 
123; to Aubrey de Vere, 178-195; 
tr> Geoffrey de Mandeville, jun., 
233; to Roger de Vah-ines, 286; to 
William de Beauchamp, 313-315, 
440; to Geoffrey Ridel, 417; to 
Humfrey de Bohun, 418; to Shrews- 
bury Abbey, 418 
of Queen Matilda, to Geoffrey, 

Charters of Henry II., 112; to Walling- 
ford, 200 ; to Feversham Abbey, 147 ; 
to Aubrey deVere, 184-186, 237, 239 ; 
to Geoffrey the younger, 234-241 ; to 
Earl of Arundel, 240, 277 ; to Hugh 
Bigod, 239, 277, 288; to London, 
367-371, 440; to Geoffrey Ridel, 

of Richard I., to Colchester, 110 

of John, to London, 372 

of Henry III., to London, 358 

, dating clauses in, 426, 431, 433 ; 

archaic formulx in, 241 ; forged, 
altered, and enlarged, 424, 425, 431 ; 
garbled, 426, 433; granted at 
Easter court (1136), 18, 19, 262-265; 
of Henry I. and Henry II. to London, 
compared, 368-371 ; of Mandeville 
family, 228-233, 390; of Basset 
family, 417 
Chester, Randulf, earl of, 146. 160, 262, 
263, 265, 380, 423, 429; at Easter 
court (1136), 265 ; at siege of 
Winchester, 128; reconciled to 
Stephen, 159 ; his wrong doings, 
268 ; arrested by Stephen, 203 ; 
joins Henry, 409, 419; dies, 276; 
his charter of restitution, 415 

, Richard, earl of, 423, 429 

, Roger, bishop of, 83, 253, 265 ; 

died, 251 
, John (de Lacy), constable of, 390 

Chiche, Maurice de, 142 

Chichester, Seffrid, bishop of, 83, 262, 

263, 265 

. earl of. See Arukdel 

Chicksand Priory, 231, 390 
Chie'vre, Geoffrey, 169 

, Michael, 169 

, William, 169 

Chreshall (Essex), 168 

" Christianitas Angliae," 172, 177, 183, 

Cirencester, Empress at, 57 ; captured by 

Stephen. 197; Earl of Gloucester 

reaches, 199, 406 
Clairvaux, Payne de, 172, 183 

, Robert de, 172, 183 

118-121. 139, 156; to Gervase, 120 Clare, Richard -fitz Gilbert" de(L),321 



Clare, Gilbert " fitz Richard " (I.) de, 329 

, , Baldwin " fitz Gilbert " de, 

13, 144, 145, 148, 159 
. , Richard " fitz Gilbert " de 

(II.), 40, 148, 270, 271 
— , , Walter " fitz Gilbert " de, 


— , Robert " fitz Richard " (I.) de, 11, 
13, 14, 262, 263, 370 
— , Roger " fitz Richard " (I.) de, 265, 


— , Walter " fitz Richard " (I.) de, 13, 
14, 264, 265 
— , Alice de (wife of Aubrey de 

Vere), 390 

— , earldom of. See Hertford 
— See also Pembroke, earl of; 

Exeter, Baldwin of 
Clarendon, Stephen at, 378 

, Assize of, 111-113 

Clark, Mr. G. T., on Gloucester Castle, 

330 ; on the Tower of London, 334 ; 

on Rochester Castle, 338 ; on the 

keep of Newcastle, 339, 346 ; on tlie 

Chateau d'Arques, 340-346 ; his 

authority, 346 
Clavering (Essex), 391 
Clericus, Hugh, 231 

, Lovel, 253 

, Roger, 231 

, Simon, 231 

Clinton, Geoffrey de, 265, 297 

Cluny, Peter, abbot of, 253, 254 

• , abbey of, favours the Empress, 

Cnihtengild, the London, 307-309 
Cockfield, Adam de, 190, 440 

, Robert de, 190 

Coffin, story of the Empress escaping 

in a, 134 

Colchester, charter of Richard I. to, 110 
Castle, granted to Eudo Dapifer, 

328 ; to Aubrey de Vere, 180, 185, 

Abbey (St. John's), 391 ; charter 

of Henry I. to, 423-427 

-, Hugh, abbot of, 194 

Coleville, W. de, 159 

Colne Priory, 390 

Col umbers, Philip de, 419 

" Communa." See Londoners 

"Communio." See Londoners 

Compostella, St. Jago de, pilgrimages 

to, 415 
Compton (Warwick), 390 
Constableship, hereditary, 285, 314, 

315, 326 
" Constabularia " (of knights), the, 155 
" Constabularie, Honor," 326, 327 
Corbet, Robert, 383 
Cornhill, Edward de, 306, 307 
, , his wife " Godeleve," 306- 

, Gervase de, 304-312; his loan 

to the Queen, 120, 305 ; justiciar of 

London, 121, 305 ; sheriff of London, 

304 ; of Kent, 311 ; a money-lender, 

311 ; his descendants, 312 
, , his wife Agnes, 306, 308; his 

brother Alan, 310, 311 
, Henry de (son of Gervase), 305, 


— , Ralph de, 310 
— , Reginald de, 310 

-. See also " Nepos Huberti," Roger 

Coleville, Robert de, 314 

Cornwall, Reginald (" filius regis"), 
earl of, 68, 82, 123, 125, 172, 183, 234, 
236, 263, 264, 271, 418, 419 

, earldom of, 68, 271 

Coronation, its relation to election, 5 ; 
its importance, 6 ; in the power of 
the Church, 7; performed at West- 
minster, 78, 80 ; repeated by Stephen 
and by Richard I., 137 

Coroners represent, in towns, the 
"justiciar," 110 

Councils, 17-24, 48, 69, 136, 165, 202, 
264, 265, 278, 412, 413, 415, 423, 427- 

Courci, Robert de (Dapifer), 170, 183 

, Alice de, 310 

Courtenay, Hugh de, 296 

Coutances, " Algarus," bishop of, 262, 

, Geoffrey, bishop of, 290 

Crevecoeur, Robert de, 158 



Cricklade, youTig Henry attacks, 409 

, " third penny " of, 289 

Crown, hereditary right to the, 25, 26, 
29, 30, 32, 33, 55, 186, 200, 253-256 ; 
elective, 26, 29, 34; kept at Win- 
chester, 62 

Crown lands, grants of, 99, 101, 140, 142, 
149, 154, 167, 269, 275, 440; their 
rents, 100, 268, 293 

Culham, 415 

Cumin, William, 85 

Curci. See Courci 

" Custodes " distinct from sheriffs, 297 


Dammartin, William de, 53 

Danfront, Picard de, 141 

Danish district, peculiar payments in 
the, 289 

Danvers, Henry, 232 

Dapifer, Eudo, 154, 328 ; his fief and 
office, 167, 173 

, Harao, 431 

, Hubert, 382 

David, King of Scots, with Henry I. (as 
earl), 429, 430 ; invades England, 
16; joins the Empress, 80, 84 ; at her 
court, 123, 124 ; knights Henry, 409 ; 
his earldom, 181,192 

Dean, Forest of, 56 

Dedham (Essex), 181, 400-404 

Deforcement, 351 

Depden (Essex), 90, 140, 141 

Derby, earldom of, 193, 270, 271 

, earl of. See Ferrers 

Devizes, castle of, 46 ; Empress flees to, 
133 ; its story, 134, 386; councils of 
the Empress at, 165 ; young Henry 
at, 408, 409; charter granted at, 
417, 418 

Devon, earldom of, 271, 272, 296 

, "tertius denarius " of, 296 

, Baldwin (de Redvers), earl of. 

93, 125, 172, 183 

" Dialogus de Seaccario," the, 154, 293, 
304, 312, :522, 376, 425 

"Diffidatio," tl.e, 28, 284, 285 

Diham. See Dedham 

Dinan, Gotso (or Goceas) de, 409, 418 

Dispenser, Robert le, 154, 314, 315 ; his 

inheritance, 313 
Dodnash Priory, foundation of, 385 
D'Oilli. See Oilli 
Domesday values, 101, 102, 140, 241, 

361 ; the " tertius denarius ' in, 287- 

Dom front. See Danfront 
" Domina," the Empress as, 14, 56, 57, 

63, 67, 70, 73-75, 80, 83 
" Dominus," the king as, 14, 70, 73, 74 
Dorset, earldom of, 95, 181, 193, 194, 

271, 272, 277. See Mohun 

, " tertius denarius " of, 291 

Donai, Walter de, his fief, 141 
Dover, Stephen at, 1 ; granted to Earl 

of Gloucester, 2 ; held against 

Stephen, 2, 94 ; Henry II. at, 237 ; a 

'^ castellum," 332 

Castle, 340, 345 

Dower, 385 

Droitwich, 440 

Dublin Castle, 331 

Dugdale, his errors, 37, 38, 44, 87, 166, 

327, 388, 391 
Dunstanville, Alan de, 123, 325 

, Robert de, 236, 418 

Durham, Stephen at, 16 

, see of, contest for, 85 ; privileges 

of, 112 
, bishops of, Ranulf (Flambard), 

384 ;— Geoffrey, 265 


'• Eadintune," 306, 307 

Earldoms, always of a county, 273, 320 ; 
or joint counties, 191-193, 273; here- 
ditary, 53, 242, 440 ; formula of crea- 
tion, 97, 187, 191, 238 ; of confirma- 
tion, 89, 97, 188, 190, 238 ; dealings 
of Henry II. with, 234, 239, 274-277 

Earls, their privileges, 52, 93, 98, 143, 
160. 169, 181, 182, 235, 292; at siege 
of Winchester, 128 ; at Stephen's 
court, 139, 144, 159; origin of tlieir 



titles, 144, 181, 191, 272, 273, 320, 
321 ; their " third penny," 239, 240, 
269, 287-296 

Earls, Stephen's, 266, 270 ; dates of their 
creation, 270, 271 ; choice of their 
titles, 272; their alleged poverty, 
267, 269 ; not " fiscal," 267-277, 440 ; 
their alleged deposition, 274-277 

Easton (Essex), 141 

Edgware, 440 

Edward I., his dealings with London, 
358 ; with Nottingham, 359 

Eglinus (? de Furnis), 53 

Ellis, Mr. W. S., on the arms of Man- 
deville, 394; of Sackville, 393; of 
De Vere, 395 

Elradon (Essex), 143 

Elton, Mr., on Mr. Chester Waters, 421 ; 
on Mr. Loftie, 436 

Ely, Stephen marches on, 48 ; (jreoffrey 
despatched against, 161,411 ; Geoffrey 
occupies, 209, 215 ; Geoffrey's doings 
at, 213, 215, 218; Stephen's ven- 
geance on, 214 ; famine and misery 
at, 219 

, Niirel, bishop of, 45 ; at Stephen's 

court, 262, 263 ; rebels, 48 ; joins the 
Empress, 64, 161, 411 ; attends her 
court, 82, 83, 93, 314; appeals to 
Rome against Stephen, 161, 411 ; re- 
stored to his see, 162, 412 ; visits the 
Empress, 208 ; goes toEorae,208,209; 
returns, 215; with Henry II., 236 

, William, prior of, 83 

Emperor, style of the, 300, 301 

Epping Forest See Waltham 

Esegar (the staller), succeeded by the 
Mandevilles, 37; sheriff and port- 
reeve, 353, 854 

« Esendona," 286 

Espec, Walter, 263, 385 

Essex, hereditary shrievalty of, 92, 109, 
142, 150, 166 ' 

, justiciarship of, 92, 105, 109, 

142, 150, 167 

, "firma" of, 92, 142, 150, 160, 

298, 3G0 

. , "third penny" of, 89, 92, 235, 

237, 239 

Essex, earldom of, created by Stephen, 
51-53, 97, 270, 271 ; confirmed by the 
Empress, 89 ; assigned to Geoffrey 
the younger, 234, 417 ; re-created by 
Henry II., 234-239 ; extinct, 243 

, escheatorsliip of, 92, 439 

, forest of, 376-378 

, earls of. See Mandeville and 

FiTZ Piers 

, Henry of, 52, 172, 183 (?), 195, 

236, 268, 326, 327, 391, 393 
— , Robert of, 52, 391 
— , Swegen of, 52, 391 
— , Alice of, 169, 390 

Eu, the count of, 158 
Eugene III., Pope, 224, 251, 258, 416 
Eustace, son and heir of Stephen, his 
betrothal, 47 ; his intended corona- 
tion, 7, 250, 259 
Evreux, Audoen, bishop of, 262, 263 
" Excambion," formula of, 102, 167, 180- 

182, 230 
Exchequer system, 108, 293, 352, 355, 
360, 400; not destroyed by tlio 
Anarchy, 99, 142, 154 

, pensions on the, 267-269, 274 

Exeter, held against Stephen, 24 

, William, bishop of, 265 

, earldom of, 272. See Devon 

, « third penny " of, 289 

Baldwin, (sheriff) of, 289, 329 

, , his wife Emma, 329 

, , Robert, son of, 329 

, , Richard, son of, 329, 428 

Castle, 843 

Eynsford, William de, 158, 298, 360 
Eyton, Mr., on the charters to Geoffrey, 
41-44,86, 97; to Aubrey de Vere, 179 ; 
on the charters of tlie Empress, 67 ; 
on Richard de Luci, 146 ; on Robert 
de Vere, 147 ; his MSS., 44, 121 ; on 
the Tewkesbury charter, 431 


Fecamp, Roger de, 46, 263 
Fenland campaign, 209-212 
Ferrers, Robert de (Earl of Derby), 13, 
94, 143, 146, 159, 263, 266, 415 



Feudalism, its alms, 105, 108, 109, 111, 
176, 372. Ste aUo " Dominus," " Dif- 


Feversham Abbey, 147 

Fiennes. Sybil de, 147 

'• Firma burgi," 361-368 

comitaUis," 99, 102, 142, 150, 154, 

156, 298, 313, 360, 362; its con- 
stituents, 100, 287, 293, 361 

" Fiscus," meaning of, 268 

Fitz (^Filius) Adam, Ralf, 190 

, Warine, 190 

Ailb', William, 190 

" Ailric," Robert, 190 

Alan, Roger, 310, 311 

, John, 316 

, Wiilter, 123 

, William, 123, 125, 418 

— Algod, Ralf, 436 

— Alvred, William, 53, 229, 230 

— Baldwin. See Exeter 

— Bigot, John, 385 

— Brian, Ralf, 142 

— Count, Briian, with Henry I., 265. 
431 ; meets Earl of GL'Ucester, 281 ; 
is besieged and relieved, ih. ; at 
Stephen's court, 19, 262, 263; escorts 
the Empress, 58, S2, 83,93, 125, 130, 
135, 170, 182, 286, 314; his letter, 
251, 261 

, Otwel, 307 

, Reginald, 320 

— Ebrard, Ralf, 305 

— Edith, Robert (son of Henry I.), 
66, 82, 94, 125, 129, 170, 183, 234, 418, 
434, 435 

— Ernald, William, 53, 229 
, Ranulf, 229 

— Frodo, Alan, 189, 440 

— Gerold, Henry, 229, 230 

, Ruben, 142 

, Ralf, 142 

, Warine, 190, 228, 229, 236, 241 

— Gilbert. See Clare 

, John (the marshal), 82, 125, 

129-132, 171, 182, 183, 2:^4, 314, 409, 
416. See also " Histoibe " 
, William. See CHANCELLORS 

Gosbert, Robert, 436 

Fitz Hamou, Robert, 382. 422 

Heldebrand, Robert, 95, 171, 183 

, Richard, 95 

Herlwin, Ralf, 309, 310 

, his sons, 310 

, Herlwin, 310 

, William, 310 

Hervey, William, 142 

Hubert, Robert, 134, 281 

Humfrey, Geoffrey, 190 

, Robert, 190 

Jocelin, William, 402. 404 

John, Payne, 11, 12, 263, 2G5, 


-, Eustace, 159. 264, 378 

— Liulf, Forn, 434 

— Martiu, Robert, 94, 135 

— Miles, William, 399 

— Muriel, AbraLam, 229 

— Osbern, William (Earl of Here- 
ford), 154 

— Osbert, Richard, 53, 229, 231 

— Other, Walter, 169 

— Oto, William, 86 

— Otwel, William, 169, 229, 231 

— Piers, Geoffrey, Earl of Essex, 39 

— Ralf, Brian, 142 

(litz Ebrard), John, 305, 

306, 436 
, Robert, 305, 306 

— Richard. See Clabe 

, Osbert, 53, 231 

, Roger, 169, 390-392 

— Robert, Walter (of Dunmow), 169 
, William, 142 

(fitz Walter), John, 52 

— Roger, Robert, 391 

— Roy. See Cornwall, Fitz 
Edith, Gloccesteb 

, Richard (son of Henry I.), 

423, 427, 434 

— Urse, Richard, 53, 159 
, Reginald, 53 

— Walter, Fulcred, 360, 363 

, Geoffrey, 229 

, Ranul[;'229 

, Robert, 385 

, William, constable of Wind- 

sor, 169 



Fitz Wimarc, Robert, 391 

Flanders, Count Robert of, 176, 177, 

Flemings, expulsion of the, 275 
Florence of Worcester, his continua- 

ter's chronology, 278, 279, 284, 285 ; 

accuracy, 437, 438 
Foliot, Gilbert, attends council at 

Rome, 251, 253 ; his letter to Brian 

Fitz Count, 251, 252, 254-257,261; 

becomes Abbot of Gloucester (1139), 

285 ; Bishop of Hereford (1148), 251, 

Fordham (Camb.), 209, 211, 220, 

Fordwich, " third penny " of, 290 
Forests. See Assarts 
France, King of, 171, 177, 183 
Fraxineto, See Fresne 
Freeman, Professor, his errors, 16, 62, 

63, 68, 224, 250, 261, 290, 291, 294, 

325, 333, 335, 338, 346, 349 ; Mr. J. 

Parker on, 280 
Fresne, Roger du, 320 
Fulcinus, Albot, 231 
Fulham, 117 


Gainsborough Castle, 159 
Gamlingay (Camb.), 120, 305 
Gant, Walter de, 264, 266, 428 

, Gilbert de, 327 

Geoffrey of Anjou, 167, 168, 171, 183, 
184 ; was to succeed Henry I., 33 ; 
summons Stephen before the Pope, 
10, 259; invited to England, 165, 
177, 195; sends bis son to England 
in his stead, 33, 185, 198; detains 
the Earl of Gloucester, 198; con- 
quers Normandy, 418 ; cedes Nor- 
mandy to Henry, 251, 259; admits 
no legate, 260 
Gerardmota, Simon de, 120 
Gerpenville. See Jarpenville 
" Gersoma," 298, 360, 363, 366 
" Gesta Stephani," its accuracy im- 

pugned, 12, 409; confirmed, 62, 63, 

115, 130, 132 
" Gialla." See London 
Gifard, John, 364 
Giftard, Elyas, 409 
" Ging'." See Ing 
Glanville, Ranulf do, 385, 390 
, , his wife Bertha, 385 ; his 

daughter Maud, 385 
Gloucester, Empress reaches, 55, 278 ; 

leaves it, 57; returns to it, 115; 

leaves it again, 123 ; flees to it, 134 

Castle, 13, 329, 330 

, earldom of, its creation, 420-422, 


, honour of, 1 1 

-, Robert (son of Henry I.), earl of, 

181 ; marries heiress of Robert fitz 
Hamon, 422 ; his earliest attesta- 
tion (Rouen, 1113), 423; attends his 
father at Reading, ih. ; at the battle 
of Bremule, ih. ; at Rouen, 424, 426 ; 
in England, 429, 430 ; created Earl 
of Gloucester, 432 ; attends his father 
at Westminster, 433 ; at Portsmouth, 
432 ; his increasing greatness, 434 ; 
attests charters at Westminster, 306 ; 
at Northampton, 265 ; receives lands 
in Kent, 2 ; does homage to Stephen 
at Oxford, 22, 23, 263; "defies" 
Stephen, 28, 284 ; lands at Arundel 
with the Empress, 55, 279 ; reaches 
Bristol, 55, 281 ; escorts the Empress 
to Winchester, 58 ; to Oxford, 68 ; 
said to have created earldom of 
Cornwall, ih. ; at Reading, 82 ; in 
London, 87, 93, 286 ; advises mode- 
ration in vain, 114; withdraws from 
London, 115 ; goes to Oxford with 
Maud, 124, 314; visits Winchester, 
124; joins in its siege, 126, 127; 
captured at Stockbridge, 133 ; re- 
leased and goes to Bristol, 135 ; re- 
moves with Maud to Oxford, 163, 
170, 182; his treaty with Earl 
Miles, 379 ; goes to Normandy, 163, 
165, 184, 196, 379 ; returns and cap- 
tures Wareham, 185, 198, 405 ; joins 
Maud at Wallingford, 199, 406 ; is 




with her at Devizes, 234, 417 ; routs 
Stephen at Wilton, 407 ; dies, 408 ; 
his Carta, 375, 382 ; his tertius de- 
narius, 292-294 ; his London soke, 
436 ; his wife, 381 
Gloucester, William, earl of, 380, 409, 
419; confused with his father, 410 

, Walter, abbot of, 265 

, Gilbert, abbot of. See Foliot 

, Miles de (Earl of Hereford), em- 
ployed by Henry I. (1130), 297; 
with him at Northampton (1131), 
265 ; meets Stephen at Reading 
(1186), 12 ; obtains charters from 
him, 11, 13, 14, 28 ; attends his 
Easter court as constable, 19, 263 ; 
and witnesses his Oxford charter, 
263 ; is with him at siege of Shrews- 
bury (1138), 285 ; abandons Stephen 
(1139), 128, 284; receives the Em- 
press, 55, 60 ; obtains charter from 
her, 56 ; loses constableship, 285 ; 
relieves Brian fitz Count, 281 ; sacks 
Worcester and captures Hereford, 
282 ; escorts the Empress to Win- 
chester (1141), 58, 65 ; to Reading 
(as constable), 82 ; to London, 83, 
93, 286 ; to Gloucester, 123 ; is 
created by her Earl of Hereford, 97, 
123, 271, 273, 288, 315, 328 ; is with 
her at Oxford, 123, 314 ; and at siege 
of Winchester, 125 ; escapes to Glou- 
cester and Bristol, 135; with the 
Empress at Oxford, 170, 182; his 
treaty with the Earl of Gloucester, 
379 ; his grant to Llanthony, 329 ; 
his death, 276 ; his son Roger, see 
Hereford, Earls of; his son Mahel, 
, Walter de (father of Miles), 13, 

Grantmesnil, Hugh de, 289 
Greenfield (Line), 169 
Greinville, Richard de, 382 
Greys Thurrock (Essex), 181 
Guisnes, Comt€oi, 188, 398. See Vere, 

Aubrey de 

, Manasses, Count of, 189, 397 

, Ralfde, 190 


Hairon, Albany de, 286 

Ham (Essex), 141 

*' Hamslep," Hugh de, 419 

Hand fasting. See Affidatio 

Harold, his accession compared with 
Stephen's, 8, 253, 437 

Hartshorne, Mr., on Rochester Castle, 

Hastings, William de, 171 

Hatfield Broad Oak (Essex), 100, 140, 
141, 149 

" Hattele," church of, 233 

Haughley (Suffolk), 326 

Haye, Ralfde, 159 

Hearne as a critic, 375 

Hedenham (Bucks.), 337 

Hedingham (Essex), 402 

Helion, barony of, 229 

, Robert de, 143 

, William de, 181, 194 

Henry I., secures Winchester, 63 ; his 
style, 25, 432 ; at St. Evroul and 
Rouen, 423, 426 ; at Brampton and 
Westminster, 428 ; marries Adeliza, 
74, 426, 429 ; visits Winchester, 426, 
430, 42 1 , 432 ; Portsmouth, 432 ; West- 
minster, 433 ; secures succession to 
his children, 2, 30-32, 34 ; dies, 322 ; 
his widow's dower, 324 ; his gifts to 
Cluny, 254; his reforms, 104, 298: 
his ministers. 111, 418 ; his exactions, 
101,105,150,360,361,366; his forest 
policy, 377; his dealings with Lon- 
don, 347, 358, 359, 365-367 ; his 
chaplains, 427 ; his military archi- 
tecture, 333, 334, 341-343, 315, 346 ; 
his charter to Eudo Dapifer, 328 ; 
his treaty with the Count of Flanders, 
176, 380 ; his knowledge of English, 

, his son William, heir to the 

crown, 30, 427 ; married, 426 ; 
drowned, 434 

, his children. See Maud, Glou- 
cester, Fitz Edith, Fitz Roy 

, his widow. See Adeliza 

Henry II., mentioned in charters of 



the Empress, 171, 183, 117, 418 ; con- 
firms his mother's charter, 184-18G, 
381,418; his hereditary right, 18G, 
200; lands with his uncle (1142), 
198, 405 ; joins the Empress, 199, 
406; resides at Bristol, 407; liis 
j?ifts to St. Augustine's, 408 ; lands 
afresh (1149), 279, 408; visits De- 
vizes, 409 ; knighted at Carlisle, 408 : 
unsupported, 409 ; leaves England, 
410 ; his third visit and negotiations, 
176, 386, 418 ; strength of his posi- 
tion, 35; his policy, 112, 372, 378; 
his alienations of demesne, 269 ; his 
charters to Aubrey de Vere, 237, 
239; to Hugh Bigod, 239; to Earl 
of Arundel, 240; to Wallingford, 
200; his dealings with London, 358, 
367, 370, 372, 440 
Henry III., his charter to London, 358 
Henry VIII., confirms charter of the 

Empress, 179, 328 
Henry (V.), the Emperor, 300, 301 
Henry of Scotland. See Huntingdon 
Heraclius, the Patriarch, consecrates 

the Temple church, 225 
Heraldry. See Akms, Quarteuly 
Hereditary right. See Crown 
Hereford, Stephen at, 48 ; seized by 

Miles, 282 
— — , its " tertius denarius," 288 

Castle, 328, 329 

, earldom of, created by the Em- 
press, 97, 123, 187, 271, 273 
, earl of, William Fitzosbern, 154, 


— , earls of. See Gloucester 
— , Roger, earl of, 234, 329, 380, 382, 

409, 419 
— , Richard ("de Sigillo"), bishop 

of, 427, 428 
— , Robert, bishop of, 46, 64, 82, 83, 

93, 262, 263, 265 
Hertford (or " Clare "), earldom of, 39, 

40, 146, 270-272 
, Gilbert, earl of, 143, 145, 159, 


, Roger, earl of, 236 

, mills of, 286 

Hertfordshire, shrievalty of, 39, 142, 
150, 166; justiciarship of, 142, 150, 
167; "firma" of, 142, 150, 166 

Hexham, John of, his accuracy con- 
firmed, 19 

Hinckford hundred (Essex), 404 

"Histoire de Guillaume le Marcchal," 
extracts from, 130-133 ; its authority, 
130, 194 

Historia Pontijicalis, editorial errors 
in, 253 

Holland, Great (Essex), 141 

Howard, Thomas, 316 

Howlett, Mr., on the landing of the 
Empress, 278-280; on an unknown 
landing by Henry II., 409, 410 

"Hugate," 232 

Huitdeniers, Osbert, 170, 374, 375, 382 

, Philip, 375 

Humez, Richard de, 236, 419 

Huntingdon, its "tertius denarius," 

, Henry of, his chronology dis- 
cussed, 407 

, Henry (of Scotland), earl of, 19, 

192, 262, 263, 265 

earldom of, 191-193, 265, 272 

Hyde Abbey burnt, 127 

Ickleton (Camb.), 141 

"Inga" (Essex), 140, 186 

Ing, Goisbert de, 142 

, Hugh de, 185, 186, 190, 384 

Innocent, Pope, hears Maud's appeal 
against Stephen (1136), 250, 252; 
dismisses it, 9, 257 ; " confirms " 
Stephen, 9, 257, 258, 260; writes 
to Stephen, 412 ; to Henry of Win- 
chester, ih. 

Ipra. See Ypres 

Ipswich, " third penny " of, 290 

Irvine, Mr., on Rochester Castle, 338 

Issigeac (Perigord), 247 

Jarpenville, David de, 231 

, , Symon, his brother, 231 



Jarpenville, Geoffrey de, 229, 230 

Jerusalem, pilgrimage to, 306, 308 

Jingles in charters, 241 

John, his charters to London, 358, 371 

Juga. See Inga and Ing 

Jurisdiction, the struggle for, 105, 108? 

Jwsficia, the, localized, 105, 373 ; termed 
"capitalis," 106; differentiated from 
the sheriff, 107, 109, 153 ; feudalized, 
109 ; represented by "coroners," 110 ; 
has precedence of the sheriff, 110 


Kent, faithful to Stephen, 2, 138 
Kingham (Oxon), 230-233 
Kirton-in-Lindsey (Line), 159 
Knightsbridge, the Londoners meet 

kings at, 84 
Knights' service, grants of, 91, 103, 

142, 155, 167, 189, 439 

Laci, Hugh de, 331 

, Ilbert de, 263 

Lassio fidei, 9, 387 
Lea, the river, 168, 175, 337 
Ledet, "Wiscard, 231 
Legate, the papal. See Winchester, 
Henry, bishop of; Canterbury, 
Theobald, archbishop of 
Leicester, " third penny " of, 289 

, Robert, earl of, 146, 154, 236, 

265, 380, 415, 433 
Leicestershire, "tertius denarius" of, 

Le Mans, tower of, 336 
Leofstan (of London), 309 
Leominster, Stephen at, 282 
Lewes Priory, 391 
Lexden hundred (Essex), 378, 404 
Lihrata terrse, the, 99, 104, 140, 141, 

241, 305, 314 
Liege homage, 315 
Lincoln, excludes the sheriff, 362 ; its 

"firma burgi," 362, 363; Stephen 

besieges, 46, 159, 440; battle of, 51, 

56, 140, 148, 149 
Lincoln Castle, constableship of, 160 

, earldom of, 271, 325 

, Robert (I.), bishop of, 329, 433 

, Alexander, bishop of, 51, 64, 82, 

83, 93, 123, 262, 265, 416 

, Robert (II.), bishop of, 236 

-, William, earl of, 146, 159, 271 , 415 

Lisieux, Arnulf, bishop of, Stephen's 
envoy (1136), 252, 253, 260, 389 

Lisures, Warner de, 120, 320 

, William de, 231 

Little Hereford, Steplien at, 282 

Lodnes, Ralf de, 190 

Loftie, Mr. W. J., his strange errors, 
152, 349-351, 354-356, 364, 436 

London, its name latinized, 347; in- 
separable from Middlesex, 347, 352, 
353, 357, 359 ; not a corporate unit, 
356 ; its organization territorial, 357 ; 
earliest list of its wards, 351, 435, 
436 ; its aiixilium, 352 

, portreeve of, 439 ; ignored by 

Henry I., 350, 351 ; difficulty con- 
cerning, 354, 356; replaced by 
Norman vicecomes, 353, 354 

, mayor of, 356, 357, 373, 436 

, chamberlain of, 355, 366 

, Tower of, its custody, 439 ; held 

by the Mandevilles, 38, 89, 117, 141, 
143, 149, 156, 166; its importance, 
98, 113, 119, 139, 164; Stephen at, 
48 ; surrendered by Geoffrey, 207 ; 
explanation of its name, 336; its 
inner ward, 334 

, Guildhall (?) of, earliest mention 

of, 436 

, St. Michael's, Cheap, 309, 310 

, bishops of, Maurice, 68, 328 ; — 

Gilbert, 265 ;— Robert (" de Sigillo "), 
45, 67, 117, 118, 123, 167; 194, 402; 
—Richard, 236, 370 

See a/so Temple; Cnihtengild 

London and Middlesex, spoken of as 
London, 348, 351, 372 ; as Middle- 
sex, 347; sheriff of, replaces port- 
reeve, 353, 354, 356 ; firma of, 142, 



150, 151, 166, 847-349, 352, 355, 
357-359, 362, 366, 371, 372, 440; 
shrievalty of, 110, 141, 150, 166, 347- 
349, 358, 359, 363, 364, 367, 372, 
439; justiciarship of, 110, 141, 150, 
167, 347, 373 

London and Middlesex, sheriffs of, 
Esegar, 353; — Ulf, 353, 354; — 
Geoffrey de Mandeville (I.), 354, 
439 ;— William de Eynsford, 360. 
See also Mandeville 

• , justiciars of, Gervase (de Corn- 
hill), 120, 121, 373;— Geoffrey de 
Mandeville, 141, 150, 167, 373 

Londoners, the, obtain from Henry I. 
shrievalty of Middlesex, 347, 349, 
359, 363, 364, 366; dislike liis 
system, 366 ; elect Stephen, 2 ; their 
compact with him, 3, 27, 247-249 ; 
faithful to him, 49, 116, 354 ; at the 
election of the Empress, 69 ; slow to 
receive her, 81 ; admit her condi- 
tionally, 84, 248; harassed by the 
Queen, 114 ; expel the Empress, 115, 
117; join the Queen, 119, 128; 
record Stephen's release, 136 ; aban- 
doned by him to Geoffrey, 153 ; 
whose mortal foes they are, 168, 174; 
treatment of, by Henry II., 370-372, 
440; join Simon de Montfort, 358; 
their charters from the Conqueror, 
354, 439 : from Henry I., 109, 347, 356, 
359, 364 ; from Henry II., 367-370, 
440 ; from Kichard I., 371 : from 
John, 358, 371 ; from Henry III., 348 ; 
their communa, 116, 247, 357, 373, 
439 ; their alleged early liberties, 
152, 372, 440; their " wardmoot," 

Lords' Reports, error in, 39 

Lovel, Ralf, 94 

Luci, Richard de, 101, 109, 112, 137, 
146, 373 ; with Stephen at Norwich, 
49 ; at Canterbury, 144 ; at Ipswich, 
158 ; at Oxford, 201 ; with Henry II., 

Lucius, Pope, 208, 215, 258, 412 

Ludgershall, the Empress floes to, 133 

" Luffenham," 314 


Magn', Ralf, 230 

Maldon (Essex), 90, 92, 99, 100, 102, 

Malet, Robert (I.), great chamberlain, 
180, 395 

, Robert (II.), 93, 262 

, William, 93, 436 

Malmesbury, Stephen at, 47, 281 

, William of, his accuracy con- 
firmed, 11, 61; impugned, 69, 115, 
132 ; discussed, 283, 344, 438 

Mamiuot, Walchelin, 2, 94, 264, 286, 
314, 418 

Mandeville family, origin of, 37 ; heirs 
of, 232, 233, 243, 244; charters of, 
228-233, 390; pedigree of, 392 

Mandeville, Geoffrey de (I.), 89, 235, 
236, 358; receives fief from the 
Conqueror, 37 ; founds Hurley 
Priory, 38 ; sheriff of three counties, 
142, 166; said to be "portreeve," 
152 ; and may have been, 439 

, Geoffrey de (II.), Earl of Essex, 

181-184; his parentage, 37; suc- 
ceeds his father, 40; at Stephen's 
court (1136), 19, 263, 264; detains 
Constance in the Tower, 47 ; his first 
charter from the king, 41-53, 292 ; 
created Earl of Essex, 52, 270, 272 ; 
with Stephen at Norwich, 49 ; 
strengthens the Tower, 81 ; his first 
charter from the Empress, 87-113, 
292; made justice, sheriff, and es- 
cheator of Essex, 92 ; deserts the 
Empress, 119 ; seizes Bishop of 
London, 117; obtains a charter from 
the Queen, 118; his second charter 
from the king, 138-156 ; made justice 
and sheriff of Herts, and of London 
and Middlesex, 141, 142 ; with 
Stephen at Ipswich, 158 ; sent against 
Ely, 161 ; aspires to be king-maker, 
164 ; his second charter from the 
Empress, 165-178, 183; obtains char- 
ter for Aubrey de Vere, 183, 184; 
his plot against Stephen, 195 ; is with 
him at Oxford, 201 ; arrested ])y 



Stephen, 202-206 ; survenders bis 
castles, 207 ; breaks into revolt, ih. ; 
secures Ely, 209 ; seizes Ramsey 
Abbey, 210; holds the fenland, 
211; sacks Cambridge, 212; evades 
Stephen, 213; his atrocities, 214, 
218 ; wounded at Burwell, 221 ; dies 
at Mildenhall, 222, 276; fate of ids 
corpse, 224-226 ; his alleged efl&gy, 
226, 395; his heirs, 232, 244; he 
founds Walden Abbey, 45 ; burns 
Waltham, 323; his policy, 98, 153, 
164, 173, 439; his greatness, 164, 
203, 223, 323 ; his arms, 392-396 

Mandeville, Geoffrey de (II.), bis sister 
Beatrice (de Say),' 169, 392, 393 

, , his wife Rohese (de Yere), 

171, 229, 232, 388, 390-393 

, , his father-in-law, Aubrey de 

Vere, 81 

, his brother-in-law, Earl Aubrey, 

178. See also Vere 

, Geoffrey de (III.). Earl of Essex, 

112, 169, 238; succeeds his father, 
233 ; styled earl, 238, 417 ; his charter 
from Henry II., 235 ; procures his 
father's absolution, 225 ; his charter 
to Ernulf, 230, 231 ; his grant of 
Sawbridge worth, 241; his death, 242; 
struggle for his corpse, 226 

— , , his wife Eustachia, 229 

— , Geoffrey de (IV-)> Earl of Esses, 

229 ; confused with Geoffrey de Man- 
deville (II.), 39 

— , William de (I.), constable of the 
Tower, 38, 166, 169, 392 
— , William de (II.), Earl of Essex, 

169, 390; his charter to Ernulf, 231 ; 
succeeds his brother as earl, 242 ; 
devoted to Henry II., 243; becomes 
Great Justiciar, ib. ; dies, ih. 
-, Ernulf (or Arnulf, or Em aid, or 

Hernald) de, grants to him, 141, 142, 
149, 155, 167, 168, 174; fortifies Wood 
Walton, 211 ; holds Ramsey Abbey, 
223 ; surrenders it, 227 ; exiled, ib. ; 
reappears, 228, 238 ; occurs in family 
charters, 229-233 ; disinherited, 233 
— , , his wife Aaliz, 232, 233 

Mandeville, Ernulf de, his son GeoftVey, 

, , his son Ralf, 231 

, , his grandson Geoffrey, 232 

, , his heir Geoffrey, 229 

, Geoffrey de, 233 

, Hugh de, 232 

, Robert de, 232 

■ , , Ralf, his brother, 232 

, Walter de, 229, 230 

, William de, 233 

Mansel, William, 383 

Marmion, Robert, 313 

Marshal, Gilbert the, 171 

, John the. See Fitz-Gilbert 

Martel, Eudo (?), 263 

, Geoffrey, 147 

, William, 46, 144, 146, 158, 159, 

206, 262, 263, 320, 378, 407, 416 

Masculus, Osbert, 436 

Mathew, Master, 407 

Matilda (of Boulogne), Steph